Drug policy profile: Austria

Series type: EMCDDA Papers


This paper describes the development and main characteristics of drug policy in Austria. It traces the development of Austrian drug laws from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through to the present day. Austria’s drug policy has several distinctive and innovative features, including the early creation of and lasting support for the principle of ‘treatment instead of punishment’.

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Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Drug control development and external influence (to 1970)
  • New issues and the birth of the Austrian approach (1971–85)
  • New challenges, structures and responses (1985–97)
  • Policy adjustments (1998–2012)
  • Conclusions
  • References