The University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) will be joining forces again this summer to hold the fourth European drugs summer school (EDSS) on 'Illicit drugs in Europe: demand, supply and public policies' (1). Registration opens today for the two-week course, which will take place in the Portuguese capital from 29 June to 10 July (2). The initiative is also supported by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (3).

Through a multidisciplinary and interactive approach to the drugs problem, EMCDDA scientific experts and ISCTE-IUL-professors, along with leading academics, guest speakers and policymakers, will prepare participants to meet the complex policy challenges in this field — both in Europe and beyond.

Week 1 of the summer school focuses on ‘Monitoring the problem’ and will feature lectures on: problem drug use; drug supply in Europe; and detecting new drugs. Week 2 is dedicated to ‘Hitting a moving target’, with lectures on: broadening the scope (addictive behaviours and dependencies); international drug policy; and the analysis of best practice as a means to enable decision-making. ‘Keynote lectures’, a prominent feature of the summer school, will be continued in 2015 with a new set of speakers lined up to address the students.

The target audiences for the EDSS are: university students, researchers, professionals and administrators interested in working on drugs issues. The previous rounds of the summer school brought together students from the EU Member States as well as representatives 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 (4). In 2015, students will again be able to apply for scholarships and ‘early-bird’ reductions are available (5).