Third European drugs summer school opens today in Lisbon

ISCTE–EMCDDA summer school: 30 June–11 July 2014

The third European drugs summer school (EDSS) — ‘Illicit drugs in Europe: demand, supply and public policies’ — opens today in Lisbon and will run until 11 July. The initiative, organised by the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE) and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA), is supported by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

A wide variety of academics, researchers and professionals from the EU Member States, the US and Latin America have signed up for the course. Over the two weeks, EMCDDA scientific experts, along with leading academics and policymakers, will prepare participants to meet the complex policy challenges in this field.

Week 1 of the summer school focuses on ‘Defining the problems’ and will feature lectures on: the production and geopolitics of drugs; high-risk drug use in Europe; and detecting new drugs. Week 2 explores ‘Understanding drug policies and interventions’, with lectures on: international drug policy and European laws; treatment and social reintegration; harm reduction and prison health.

A new line-up of keynote speakers will address the course including: Professor Robert West (University College London); Professor Susan Michie (University College London); Professor Henrique Barros (University of Porto); Frank Francis (MAOC-N) and Björn Hibell (ESPAD coordinator).

For the first time on the course, EDSS students will be able to view video lectures and participate in live on-screen discussions with civil society representatives in Greece and the Netherlands. Another feature in this year’s programme will be two study visits to: a Lisbon prison and one of Portugal’s Commissions for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction.

The course will close with a speech from Minerva-Melpomeni Malliori (University of Athens) and a debate on drug policies after the economic recession.

The first two summer schools in 2012 and 2013 brought together around 60 students from over 15 EU Member States, as well as countries from Asia and Latin America. Profiles of former alumni and their testimonials can be found on the official summer school website and their statements viewed in a promotional video.