Spain Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related research

In Spain, the Science, Technology and Innovation Act 14/2011 guides the implementation of public policy on science, technology and innovation, and the organisation of actions to foster and coordinate scientific and technical innovation. The Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2013-20 defines the general scope and main objectives, while the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation specifies the operational tools and funding instruments required to implement research and development activities.

The new State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-20, drafted by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, has been submitted for public consultation and is going to be implemented through four programmes. One of the programmes aims to analyse ‘society challenges’, including a ‘Strategic Action for Health’. This action is managed by the State Agency of Investigation in agreement with the ‘Instituto de Salud Carlos III’. Projects are funded by the general budget of the central government, through public tenders or calls.

The National Strategy on Addictions 2017-24 and its action plans on drugs detail the drug research framework. They put special emphasis on the promotion of research on drugs and addiction, systematic evaluation of programmes and actions, and the use of current evidence in the design of policies and programmes on drugs and addictions. Priority areas of interest include basic clinical, social, epidemiological and methodological research.

The Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs is responsible for directing drug-related research activities. The Spanish Observatory on Drugs and Addictions collects, analyses and disseminates statistical and epidemiological data on drug use. Furthermore, the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs channels funds to research projects that are carried out by both public and non-profit-making private research and development centres. Universities and research networks are the main participants undertaking drug-related research. National scientific journals and specialised websites are the main channels for national dissemination of drug-related research findings.

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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.