In Spain, biomedical research and health sciences are important aspects of the national research and development agenda, which comes under the framework of the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2013-20 and the National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-16. In addition to those documents, the National Strategy on Drugs 2009-16 calls for improved research in areas of drug use, prevention and treatment, as well as for evaluation of programmes and actions. The research is funded through the general state budget through public tenders or calls.
The Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs is the national entity responsible for directing and coordinating drug-related research activities. Priority areas for drug-related research include basic, clinical, social, epidemiological and methodological research. The Action Plan on Drugs 2013- 16 promoted (i) surveys of the general population and young high school students; (ii) the compilation of data on treatment, emergencies and mortality; (iii) the strengthening of surveillance systems with new tools and epidemiological indicators on the use of drugs, such as the problematic drug use indicator or the drug-related infectious diseases indicator; (iv) research and analysis of data on drug use and gender, drug use in the workplace, polydrug use, etc.; (v) the dissemination of data from the Information System through publications and online media; (vi) the consolidation of the Early Warning System for the detection of NPS; (vii) research networks with a clinical and preventative focus, integrating the existing drug-related networks and research centres in Spain; and (viii) setting up a portal on best practices.
Recent drug-related studies funded by the Government Delegation focused mainly on basic and clinical research on alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. Priority research lines for the 2016 call for applications included selective and indicated prevention in associated or independent alcohol and cannabis abuse, especially in minors; the social cost of drug problems; improving the quality and results of the therapeutic process; strategies for social and labour reintegration; actions in prison settings; and prevention and intervention in drug dependency in the workplace.
University departments and research networks are the main actors undertaking drug-related research. National scientific journals and specialised websites are the main channels for national dissemination of drug-related research findings.
Recently, the EU-funded Ibero-American Library on Drugs and Drug Addiction (BIDA, in Spanish) was established, and international cooperation in drug research is in place (i.e. with the US National Institute on Drug Abuse).
Recent drug-related studies funded by the Government Delegation focused mainly on basic and clinical research on alcohol, cocaine and cannabis