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Please note that the information on this page is based on the EMCDDA Annual report 2011: the state of the drugs problem in Europe. Most statistical data relate to the year 2009 (or the last year available).


Annual report 2011: the state of the drugs problem in Europe
Policies and laws

National drug strategies

A central element of Europe's drug policy model is the adoption of national drug strategies and action plans, and these now exist in almost all of the 30 countries monitored by the EMCDDA. In most of these countries, the latest drug policy document is less than three years old. These documents describe the drug situation and the government's goals and objectives in this area, specifying actions and the parties that are responsible for their implementation. Criteria to measure the success of each action are often presented, and increasingly, a final evaluation of the strategy or action plan will be carried out.

New developments

Eleven countries have recently adopted new national drug strategies or action plans (Table 1: Recently adopted national drug policy documents), with time spans ranging from three to nine years. Of these, three (Portugal, Romania, Turkey) have their drug policy documents in synchrony with the current EU drug strategy (2005-12). Although alcohol and tobacco are sometimes mentioned, the main focus of most drug policy documents is on illicit drugs, and many countries have separate national alcohol and tobacco action plans. One of the few exceptions, a combined drugs and alcohol strategy to be adopted in Ireland, has been delayed due to parliamentary elections in early 2011.

Table 1: Recently adopted national drug policy documents
Country Name of policy document Time span Main focus Notes

Sources: Reitox national focal points.

Czech Republic Strategy 2010–18 Illicit drugs Complemented by a 2010–12 action plan
Denmark Action plan 2010 on Illicit drugs  
Italy Action plan 2010–13 Illicit drugs Complemented by a projects plan 2010
Latvia Programme 2011–17 Illicit drugs  
Lithuania Programme 2010–16 Illicit drugs Complemented by annual action plans
Luxembourg Strategy and action plan 2010–14 Illicit drugs The strategy also considers alcohol, tobacco, medicines and addictive behaviours
Poland Programme 2011–16 Illicit drugs  
Portugal Action plan 2009–12 Illicit drugs Second action plan under the 2005–12 strategic plan
Romania Action plan 2010–12 Illicit drugs Second action plan under the 2005–12 strategy
United Kingdom Strategy 2010 on Illicit drugs Replaces the 2008–18 strategy adopted by the previous government
Turkey Action plan 2010–12 Illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco Second action plan under the 2006–12 national strategy

A delay in the adoption of a new drug policy document, following a change of government, was also reported by the Netherlands (1), while the newly elected Hungarian government mentioned its intention to replace the drugs strategy that was adopted the year before by its predecessor. Four other countries (Germany, Estonia, Slovenia, Sweden) reported that they were in the process of developing and adopting new drug policy documents in 2011, while Norway extended its action plan (2007-10) to 2012.


(1) A new strategy was presented to parliament in 2011 in the format of a 'drug letter'.

About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Friday, 28 October 2011