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Drugnet Europe

News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction


In aqua veritas? Illicit drugs in wastewater

A novel approach to monitoring illicit drug use in the community was showcased by the EMCDDA in December in the latest edition of its Insights series. Entitled Assessing illicit drugs in waste water: potential and limitations of a new monitor ing approach, the report looks at how analysing communal wastewater (e.g. from treatment plants) for residues of illicit drugs can provide real-time insights into local drug consumption levels and trends. Full article >>

New EU drugs action plan: mobilising European citizens

On 8 December, the Council of the EU endorsed the EU drugs action plan 2009–12, presented to it by the Commission in September 2008. Like its pre decessor, the new plan includes wide-ranging meas ures to strengthen European cooperation to curb the adverse consequences of drug use and to cut drug-related crime. Full article >>

HIV among IDUs in Europe: increasing trends in the East

The HIV epidemic among injecting drug users (IDUs) continues to develop differently in various parts of Europe. In the countries of the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), for example, the rates of reported newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection in IDUs are mostly at stable and low levels, or in decline. However, in many other (eastern) countries of the World Health Organiza tion’s (WHO) European Region, rates increased in 2007. Full article >>

EU-LAC cities collaborate on drug treatment data collection

A common questionnaire to collect data on drug users entering treatment in Euro pean, Latin American and Caribbean cities is currently being developed under the ‘EU-LAC drug treatment city partner ships project. Full article >>

Improving access to treatment

Poor access or late entry to treatment for alcohol- and drug-using individuals can aggravate their health problems and suffering, decrease their quality of life and increase costs for society. Full article >>

Concerns expressed over Spice

At the end of 2008, concern was expressed in some European countries in relation to ‘Spice’, a herbal mixture monitored since early last year by the EMCDDA’s early-warning system (EWS) on new psychoactive substances. Spice refers to a blend of plant or herbal ingredients, including Indian Warrior and Lion's Tail. Full article >>

Towards the better treatment of addiction

Ongoing research can make a valuable contribution to the effective treatment of drug addiction. This is according to high-ranking scientists attending the European Conference of Scientific Experts, held in Paris from 9–10 December. Full article >>

Best practice portal: selective prevention

The EMCDDA has recently launched a new module in its Best practice portal dedicated to selective prevention and its efficacy. Full article >>

Drug use, a growing challenge for EU road safety

Alcohol remains the number one substance endangering lives on European roads, but more drivers are now found to be using illicit drugs and psychoactive medicines, presenting a growing challenge for policymakers. Full article >>

Creating and consolidating national drug observatories

Representatives of national drug observatories (NDOs) from 20 member countries of the Organisation of American States (OAS) gathered at the 4th Ibero-American workshop of NDOs, held from 20–24 October in Antigua, Guatemala.Full article >>

Identifying Europe’s information needs

Preparatory work for the EMCDDA conference ‘Identifying Europe’s information needs for effective drug policy’, (6–8 May, Lisbon), is gaining momentum, with over 350 invited participants now signing up. Full article >>

Legal responses to new psychoactive substances in Europe

Legal responses to new psychoactive substances in Europe The latest in the EMCDDA’s series of ‘Legal reports’ is now available in the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) and focuses on the ‘Legal responses to new psychoactive substances in Europe’. Full article >>

Reitox Academy for the Andean Community

Experts working in the drugs field in the Andean Community attended a two-day Reitox Academy in Lisbon from 24–26 November in the framework of the EC-funded project, DROSICAN. Full article >>

National reporting: new guidelines for 2009

Full article >>

Scientific Committee members present vision for next three years

The upcoming three-year EMCDDA work programme (2010–12) was high on the agenda at the last meeting of the Scientific Committee held in Lisbon from 15–16 November. Full article >>

Management Board adopts 2009 work programme and budget

The 2009 work programme and budget were the key points on the agenda at the latest EMCDDA Management Board meeting held in Lisbon from 3–4 December. Full article >>

Farewell to Pompidou Group chief

Chris Luckett, Head of the Pompidou Group’s secretariat since 1985, attended his last meetings with the organisation at the end of 2008, before retiring. Full article >>

Bookshelf Resources Spotlight Calendar New EMCDDA products and services



small picture of water treatment plant

In this issue: concerns expressed over Spice; latest findings on measuring illicit drugs in wastewater and on drugs and driving; legal responses to new psychoactive substances in Europe; new thematic paper on indicated prevention and a drug profile on BZP.

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Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

Page last updated: Friday, 20 February 2009