(8.11.2010, LISBON) Mr John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, visited the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon this morning for the latest update on the drug phenomenon across Europe.
The meeting, with EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz, took place ahead of this week’s release of the Annual report 2010: the state of the drugs problem in Europe.
Commissioner Dalli welcomed the report which he said offered a ‘comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the drug situation across 30 countries’.
Among the issues discussed at the meeting was the growing number of new substances entering Europe’s illicit drug market. EMCDDA officials explained how, with Europol and the European Medicines Agency, the agency tracks new drugs via the European early-warning system on psychoactive substances.
The use of multiple substances including alcohol (polydrug use) was also covered. EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz declared that ’Europe’s drugs problem increasingly stems from the combined use of different psychoactive substances, both licit and illicit’. He underlined the need for public health approaches ‘to focus on lifestyles and behaviours, rather than individual substances’.
The EMCDDA’s partnership with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control was also described, along with joint work on the prevention and control of drug-related infectious diseases in Europe, namely in relation to data-collection, analysis and dissemination.
The Commissioner’s programme in the Portuguese capital continued with an address at a conference on mental health and talks with the: Portuguese Minister of Health, Ana Jorge; Minister of Agriculture, António Serrano; and Secretary of State for Commerce, Services and Consumer Protection, Fernando Serrasqueiro.