In Italy, research is coordinated by the Department for Anti-Drug Policies (DAP) and developed by a network of researchers and institutions such as the National Research Council, the National Statistical Office and the National Health Institute, as well as several ministries and local providers of public services, frequently in partnership with universities and/or private research entities. This set of entities provides studies that contribute to the annual report on drugs to the Italian parliament. Their main financing sources are the DAP, the National/Regional Health Services, the Ministry of Education, University and Research and the European Commission.
The Italian Action Plan recognises the importance of drug-related research, especially in the fields of neuroscience, neuroimaging, and behavioural, social and educational sciences. To this end, the DAP supports the development of an institutional scientific community. The outcomes of research are published both in national and international scientific journals.
Drug-related research covers a wide range of topics, including prevalence, patterns of substance use, risky behaviours, prevention and other interventions, new psychoactive substances, law enforcement and policy evaluation.