EMCDDA Drugs Library

E-health and m-health: using new technologies to respond to drug problems


This paper presents a definition of e-health and m-heath tools to address substance use problems, and a taxonomy to describe such tools systematically. A number of examples of e-health tools that are currently being used in Europe for prevention, treatment and harm reduction of substance use are presented, based on a selective literature search. Recent reviews and other studies on the effectiveness of e-health tools are discussed. Most of the available research has focused on the reduction of cannabis use, alcohol moderation and smoking cessation, and to a lesser extent on reducing use of stimulants and opioids. The paper concludes with a number of future challenges for the wider implementation of e-health and m-health for substance use problems in Europe.

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This paper was commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to provide background information to inform and contribute to the drafting of Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide.

This background paper was produced under contract CT.16.SDI.0145.1.0 and we are grateful for the valuable contribution of the authors. The paper has been cited within Health and social responses to drug problems and is also being made available online for those who would like further information on the topic. However, the views, interpretations and conclusions set out in this publication are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the EMCDDA or its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union.