France Country Drug Report 2019

National drug strategy and coordination

National drug strategy

France’s National Action Plan on Addictions 2018-22 was adopted in December 2018. Like its predecessors, the Action Plan takes a broad approach to psychoactive substances and addictive behaviours. It addresses alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, as well as doping, gambling and screen-based addictions. Six key challenges are addressed in the document: (i) protecting the young; (ii) offering better solutions for the consequences of addiction; (iii) combating trafficking more effectively; (iv) increasing knowledge and promoting knowledge-sharing; (v) strengthening international cooperation; and (vi) creating the conditions for effective public action throughout the country. The Action Plan responds to these challenges through the six axes of prevention, treatment, supply reduction, research, monitoring, and international cooperation. Nineteen priorities are defined and elaborated through a series of objectives across the five axes. The scope of the individual measures varies, some applying to specific populations and some to general populations, and some applying to some and others to all substances and addictions covered by the plan. Supporting nationwide implementation, prefecture departments are responsible for developing territorial strategy based on four local-level priorities for addressing addiction: the party scene and measures to avoid disturbance of the peace; protection of minors; neighbourhood security; and criminality prevention. Under the plan, community-level support for projects will be delivered through the provision of financial and methodological support for local authorities to enhance the use of scientific knowledge and effective responses.

A series of key indicators, accompanied by baselines, have been defined to monitor progress against objectives in the National Action Plan on Addictions (2018-22). In 2018, an intervention-based external evaluation of four priority areas (two per action plan) of the Government Plan for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (2013-17) was published. It examines the relevance of new experimental approaches (e.g. peer-led prevention, community action against drug trafficking). This external evaluation was complemented by an internal indicator-driven evaluation examining the effectiveness of the Government Plan in achieving the stated objectives.


National coordination mechanisms

France’s drug policy is coordinated at the national level by the Interministerial Mission for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (MILDECA), which prepares all government decisions on drug issues. MILDECA reports to the prime minister and is tasked with the organisation and coordination of France’s policies against drugs and addictive behaviours. Its mandate covers the use of illicit and licit substances and non-substance-related addictive behaviours. Throughout France and its territories, MILDECA territorial representatives (chefs de projet) are responsible for coordinating drug policy at territorial 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.