Slovakia Country Drug Report 2018

National drug strategy and coordination

National drug strategy

Slovakia’s National Anti-Drug Strategy (2013-20), adopted in 2013, addresses illicit drug problems. It is built around two pillars addressing (i) demand reduction and (ii) supply reduction, and three cross-cutting themes focused on (i) coordination, (ii) international cooperation and (iii) research, information, monitoring and evaluation. The strategy builds on an awareness of current drug problems, including poly-substance use, stimulant (including methamphetamine) use, the need to control medications containing psychoactive or drug precursor ingredients, the challenges posed by blood-borne viruses (such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis C virus), the need for improved treatment service coverage and the changing dynamics of the drug markets. The overall aim is to contribute to drug demand reduction and drug supply reduction, as well as the reduction of health and social risks and harms caused by drugs. These issues are addressed through the strategy’s five top-level objectives. Like other European countries, Slovakia evaluates its drug policy and strategy using routine indicator monitoring and specific research projects. A mid-term internal evaluation of the implementation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy (2013-20) was published in 2017, and progress on the current strategy’s implementation is reported annually.



National coordination mechanisms

Chaired by the Minister for Health, the Government Council for Drug Policy is responsible for inter-ministerial coordination and comprises representatives from all relevant ministries. It advises the government, develops and implements drug strategies, proposes financial arrangements for drug policy issues and suggests responses to serious drug problems. The Council is also involved in the drafting of drug-related legislation, coordinating Slovakia’s obligations under international drug control treaties, and liaising with international organisations. The Department of Drug Strategy Coordination and Monitoring of Drugs is based within the Ministry of Health. It functions as the Council’s Secretariat and oversees the strategic and operational coordination and implementation of the national drug strategy. The Department is the responsibility of the Director General of the Health Section at the Ministry of Health. The Department’s Director also functions as the Secretary of the Council. The Department of Drug Strategy Coordination and Monitoring of Drugs consists of two sections. The National Drug Strategy section is tasked with national coordination and implementation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy. It also includes a unit dealing with institutional and international relations and information transfer in relation to drug issues. The National Monitoring Centre for Drugs section functions as Slovakia’s national focal point. It is responsible for monitoring the drug situation and managing national drug information systems. Regional coordinators for the prevention of criminality address illicit drug issues at a local level.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.