National drug strategy and coordination in Spain 2017

Spain Country Drug Report 2017

National drug strategy and coordination

National drug strategy

In Spain, the National Drug Strategy (2009-16) primarily focused on illicit drugs but also considered licit substances. Its objectives included reducing the use of licit and illicit substances; delaying the age at first contact with drugs; guaranteeing high-quality assistance adapted to the needs of all people affected by drug use; reducing or limiting the harm caused to drug users’ health; and facilitating the social integration of drug users. The strategy was built around five fields of action: (i) demand reduction (prevention, risk and harm reduction, treatment and social reintegration); (ii) supply reduction; (iii) improvement of basic and applied scientific knowledge; (iv) training; and (v) international cooperation. Two consecutive four-year action plans were drawn up to implement specific actions for the periods 2009-12 and 2013-16. A new National Drug Strategy for the period 2017-24 is being developed, and will cover mainly illicit drugs, but also licit substances, such as alcohol.

Like other European countries, Spain evaluates its drug policy and strategy using ongoing indicator monitoring and specific research projects. A mixed methods final internal evaluation of the National Strategy on Drugs (2000-08) was completed in 2008 and examined the strategy’s implementation. In 2012, an internal evaluation of the 2009-12 action plan and, in 2014, a mid-term evaluation of the 2013-16 action plan were completed by the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs. A final evaluation of the 2013-16 action plan and a final evaluation of the National Drug Strategy (2009-16) will be completed in 2017 in the context of the development of the new strategy.

National coordination mechanisms

At the national level, the Spanish Council for Drug Addiction and Other Addictions is responsible for intersectorial collaboration. It seeks to improve the development and implementation of policies and actions related to illicit drug and other addictions. The Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs is the national drug policy coordinator. The Delegate’s office is a directorate of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. It coordinates the institutions involved in delivering the drug strategy at central administrative, regional/autonomous community and local levels.

The Sectoral Conference on Drugs facilitates cooperation between central government and the administrations of the autonomous communities and cities. Chaired by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, it is made up of representatives of the central administration and the regional ministers of the Departments of the Autonomous Regions. The Communities Commission on Drugs, chaired by the Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, reports to the sector conference, which is made up of all the deputy directors-general of the government delegation and those responsible for the regional drug plans (commonly known as regional drug commissioners). There is a drug commissioner in each of the 17 autonomous communities and in two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla). They communicate with the Government Delegation through their participation in the Inter-autonomic Commission and the sector conference.

Focus of national drug strategy documents: illicit drugs or broader

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


A new National Drug Strategy for the period 2017-24 is being developed and will cover illicit drugs and licit substances, such as alcohol

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