Latvia Country Drug Report 2019

National drug strategy and coordination

National drug strategy

Latvia’s National Programme on Drug Control and Drug Addiction Restriction for 2011-17 is focused on illicit drugs. It was developed in accordance with the Regulation for Development of Planning Documents and Impact Assessment and the Latvian Strategic Development Plan 2010-13 and reflects the principles of the drug policy of the European Union (EU). It sets out three main goals: (i) to reduce the tolerance of illicit drug use in society; (ii) to reduce the harm caused to society through illicit drug use by making effective healthcare services available to drug users; and (iii) to reduce the availability of illicit drugs. The strategy is accompanied by an action plan built around four pillars: (i) the prevention of drug dependence and drug use (two policy impact indicators, four performance indicators, 10 actions); (ii) the healthcare of drug-dependent patients and drug users (two policy impact indicators, seven performance indicators, 15 actions); (iii) the reduction of drug supply (two policy impact indicators, seven performance indicators, 12 actions); and (iv) a cross-cutting focus on policy coordination, monitoring, data collection and information analyses (16 actions).

Like other European countries, Latvia evaluates its drug policy and strategy using routine indicator monitoring and specific research projects. In 2014, an internal mixed-methods process evaluation, focused on the implementation of the National Programme, was completed by the Ministry of the Interior.


National coordination mechanisms

The Drug Control and Drug Addiction Restriction Coordination Council is chaired by the prime minister and includes ministers from all key policy areas and several national experts. It is responsible for coordinating government agencies, municipalities and non-governmental organisations tasked with implementing the national drug strategy. The Council is responsible for developing drug programmes and for their implementation and evaluation. The Council Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day strategic and operational coordination of activities related to the National Programme. The head of the Council Secretariat functions as the National Drug Coordinator. The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia, which houses the national focal point of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, coordinates day-to-day monitoring work and the collection and dissemination of information on illicit and licit substances.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.