This month, the EMCDDA's Scientific Director takes us on a journey through 25 years of annual reporting on the drugs problem in Europe. The journey begins with the first report describing the drug situation in 1995 and leads us, over key milestones, to the latest European Drug Report 2020. Looking back on a quarter of a century, two things stand out: first, Europe's drugs problem has evolved considerably over this period; and second, this evolution has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the quantity and quality of the information available on the topic. The article describes reporting through various EU enlargements, and on a rapidly changing drug landscape, and shows how information needs for informed policies have evolved over time.
Feature article by Paul Griffiths, EMCDDA Scientific Director
In 1996, the EMCDDA released its first annual report on drug trends in Europe, entitled the Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union 1995. This introduced the work of the agency and presented the limited data then available from European countries on drug use. EU aggregate estimates were largely absent at that time. Since then, although the report’s format and name have changed, the EMCDDA has continued to provide yearly assessments of drug use in Europe over a quarter of a century.
Looking back at these 25 years of annual reporting, two things stand out: first, Europe’s drugs problem has evolved considerably over this period; and second, this evolution has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the quantity and quality of the information available on this topic.
While today our information systems remain imperfect, they represent a major achievement of the European approach to addressing drug issues, as they now permit a far better understanding of the drug problems faced within the EU and the measures taken to address them.
Download full article below.
The article covers:
- The Reitox network: key partners for building the European evidence base
- Meeting the challenges of a changing drug scene and EU enlargement
- The information needs for informed policies and actions have evolved over time
- Keeping pace with a more rapidly changing drug landscape
- The growing importance of stimulants, synthetic drugs and cannabis
- New psychoactive substances become an issue of concern
- Supply side data have become more important
- Preparing to meet the future challenges of reporting on drug use in Europe