In Austria, the Addiction Prevention Strategy was adopted in 2016 and, alongside the Narcotic Substances Act, sets out the goals, principles and framework for Austria’s drug policy. It supports the principle of treatment instead of punishment, aims for a society as free of addiction as possible and views addiction as a disease. The strategy addresses illicit drugs and licit substances alongside non-substance-related addictive behaviour and provides an orientating framework at the federal level for work on drug use issues in Austria and complements the drug strategies of the nine provinces. It has three fields of intervention: (i) prevention of addiction; (ii) help with addiction (harm reduction, treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration); and (iii) security. The strategy does not have a defined timeframe or a specific action plan.
While no systematic evaluation of the current drug strategy document is planned, Austria, like other European countries, evaluates its drug policy and strategy using routine indicator monitoring and specific research projects. Addiction research, evaluation and quality assurance are identified as key support processes in the Austrian Addiction Prevention Strategy for the ongoing development of interventions and policy.
The Federal Drug Coordination Office, attached to the Ministry of Health, coordinates drug policy at the federal level. It consists of representatives from all relevant ministries. The Coordination Office is tasked with managing the operational coordination of federal drug policies, preparing drug-related ministerial decisions and participating in European and international drug policy forums on Austria’s behalf. The Federal Drug Forum is a coordinating and advisory body for Austria’s nine provinces; the provinces work together though the Provincial Conference of Drug Coordinators and each has Drug or Addiction Coordination Offices and Addiction Prevention Units.
National drug strategies and action plans: availability and scope
NB Year of data 2015. Strategies with broader focus may include, for example, licit drugs and other addictions
The Addiction Prevention Strategy was adopted in 2016 and addresses illicit drugs and licit substances alongside non-substance-related addictive behaviour