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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

Published: 15 November 2011

Drug-related research

Strengthening EU research capacity

Strengthening research capacity in the drugs field has been on the European agenda in recent years. In 2010, the first Council annual exchange on drug-related research took place, with the European Commission presenting an overview of Commission-funded research projects, and highlighting the added value of such initiatives. The EMCDDA presented an overview of mechanisms and topics of drug-related research in Member States and its Scientific Committee's recommendations on future research priorities (1).

Europe's main vehicle for funding research is FP7, the Seventh framework programme for research and technological development, which will run until 2013. Under FP7's 'Cooperation' programme, there are calls for proposals that are of particular relevance to drug research (2). These include calls on 'Addictive and/or compulsive behaviour in children and adolescents'; 'Understanding of unintended consequences of global illicit-drug control measures' and ALICE-RAP (3).

The European Commission is also funding other drug-related studies through the 'Drugs prevention and information programme', the 'Prevention of and fight against crime programme', the 'Criminal justice programme' and the 'Public health programme'. Projects such as the 'Study on the development of an EU framework for minimum quality standards and benchmarks in drug demand reduction', 'New methodological tools for policy and programme evaluation' and 'Further analysis of the EU illicit drugs market and responses' will bring important insights on the different challenges facing Member States in this field and contribute to the implementation of the current EU strategy and action plan on drugs.

As requested by the 2009 Council conclusions, the EMCDDA, in close cooperation with the European Commission, is disseminating information and the main findings of these projects on its research thematic web area.

Research information from Member States

Europe currently has no inventory of drug-related research conducted at the national level. All EU Member States carry out research into the drug problem and a proportion of these studies are captured and used in the Reitox national reports. Although citations from these reports refer only to a selection of studies and may not include all the relevant publications in the country, it is possible to identify some trends in the number and types of research topics cited. Between 2008 and 2010, the annual number of studies cited in the Reitox national reports increased from 370 to 750. Studies on responses to drug use formed the largest category (34 % of all citations in the 2008-10 national reports), followed by studies on prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug use (29 %), and studies on consequences of drug use (23 %). Studies on methodologies and on mechanisms and effects of drugs were only rarely mentioned.


(1) See the box 'Priorities for future research: EMCDDA Scientific Committee recommendations' on this page.

(2) Calls are published in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting researchers to submit project proposals for specific areas of the framework programme.

(3) See the box 'ALICE RAP' on this page.

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