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European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2015) EMCDDA general population survey presentations. In: General population surveys annual expert meeting, 17–18 June 2015, Lisbon.

URL: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/activities/expert-meet...

On 17 and 18 June 2014, the EMCDDA brought together forty-five European and international experts for a meeting on the key indicator Prevalence and patterns of drug use among the general population (GPS) (*). These regular meetings on the indicator change their focus from year to year. This year particular attention was given to cannabis and alcohol, in addition to new psychoactive substances (NPS) and psychoactive medicines.


Regarding cannabis, a multi-indicator analysis (prevalence, supply, consequences, treatment) was presented, and the monitoring of high risk cannabis use was analysed. Monitoring cannabis use, high risk cannabis use and resulting problems are currently top level policy issues, given the ongoing, rapid changes in cannabis regulation.


The EMCDDA — together with many experts — has developed guidelines to be released shortly which aim to improve the accuracy of estimations of high risk cannabis use using psychometric scales (in particular CAST). Prevention and interventions (when needed) around cannabis were not addressed in this year’s meeting, but they will be addressed in future meetings, as well as issues on cannabis markets and potency.


Attention was also given to instruments to measure alcohol use. EMCDDA is working closely with the RARHA Joint Action (Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm) of the Health and Food Safety Directorate General (DG SANTE) of the European Commission to develop common instruments to measure alcohol use and problems. Attention was given to the monitoring of new psychoactive substances and psychoactive medicines. The EMCDDA has developed a module on NPS to be used on population surveys similar to the one used in ESPAD and the Eurobarometer, but some countries are still using different instruments. Measurement of psychoactive medicine use is particularly challenging, both because of their availability in the legal, illegal and grey markets (e.g. on-line pharmacies), and because differentiation between use and abuse could be very subjective in many cases.


(*) The EMCDDA key indicators are a broad domain of knowledge that address drug demand (prevalence and patterns of use in general populationprevalence and patterns of problem drug use, and treatment demand indicator (TDI)) and drug problems (drug-related deaths (DRD) and drug-related infectious diseases)


Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date:June 2015
Corporate Creators:European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Event Title:General population surveys annual expert meeting
Event Location:Lisbon
Event Dates:17–18 June 2015
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Cannabis / Marijuana
B Substances > Alcohol
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health services, substance use research
VA Geographic area > Europe

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