Malta Country Drug Report 2017

National drug strategy and coordination

National drug strategy

Launched in 2008, the Maltese national drug policy document addresses illicit drug problems. The strategy aims to streamline the actions of the government and non-government bodies that are responsible for delivering services to drug users. It seeks to (i) improve the quality and provision of drug-related services; and (ii) provide a more coordinated mechanism to reduce the supply of and demand for drugs in society. The strategy’s main objectives are to ensure a high level of security, health protection, well-being and social cohesion. It is primarily concerned with illicit drugs, but it also considers the abuse of prescription medications. The strategy is built around six main pillars: (i) coordination; (ii) the legal and judicial framework; (iii) supply reduction; (iv) demand reduction, including harm reduction; (v) monitoring, evaluation, research, information and training; and (vi) international cooperation and funding. Forty-eight different actions are set out under these six pillars. A first progress review of the strategy was conducted in 2011.

As in other European countries, Malta evaluates its drug policy and strategy through ongoing indicator monitoring and specific research projects. A wide-ranging performance audit of problem drug use was undertaken by the National Audit Office in 2012. This mixed-methods assessment made a series of recommendations following a review of the structures and systems in place. Annual reports on the implementation of the 2008 strategy were compiled and a progress review was undertaken in 2011.

National coordination mechanisms

The main body responsible for drug-related matters in Malta is the Advisory Board on Drugs and Addiction (part of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity), which was set up when the National Commission on the Abuse of Drugs, Alcohol and other Dependencies became part of the Presidential Office. The seven members of the advisory board are independent experts from fields such as law, youth studies, education, clinical psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology and neuroscience. The National Coordinating Unit for Drugs and Alcohol, which is also part of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity, is responsible for the implementation of the national drug policy, while the main remit of the national focal point for drugs and drug addiction to the EMCDDA is that of monitoring the situation and the responses, including the effectiveness of the actions put in place as a result of the national drug policy.

Focus of national drug strategy documents: illicit drugs or broader

NBYear of data 2015. Strategies with broader focus may include, for example, licit drugs and other addictions.


Launched in 2008, the Maltese national drug policy document addresses illicit drug problems

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