EMCDDA Director visits Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is in Switzerland today for a two-day meeting with representatives of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the body responsible for evaluating and coordinating the Swiss federal policy on illicit drugs. The visit follows the signature of a working agreement between the EMCDDA and the FOPH on 12 September 2017 and will see the signing of a joint work programme for 2018–20 between the two organisations.

The visit offers the EMCDDA the opportunity to discuss technical matters (e.g. monitoring systems, data collection and the Swiss approach to prevention and treatment), with a view to increasing cooperation between the agency and the Swiss authorities.

The EMCDDA delegation will also be meeting representatives of Addiction Suissean independent foundation working in the field of drug use and other addictive behaviours. This is expected to cover a wide variety of topics including: cannabis regulation; drug markets and wastewater analysis.

A visit to a supervised drug consumption room (DCR) in Bern is also on the agenda. DCRs are closely linked to the agency’s public health role in reducing the harms related to drug use (particularly overdose deaths and injecting risk behaviour). The EMCDDA delegation will observe the working of the facility and review issues such as public acceptance of DCRs, levels of use and day-to-day problems encountered.

Through its Strategy 2025 and Programming document 2018–20, the EMCDDA is committed to contributing to a healthier and more secure Europe. Developing a closer working relationship with Switzerland will enable the EMCDDA to deepen its understanding of the drug phenomenon and its consequences throughout Europe.

The Director will be accompanied by the EMCDDA Heads of unit for Public Health and for Risks to public safety and security.