EMCDDA logo Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union 2001

Home of the Annual Report
Introduction to the annual report
Chapter 1: Drug demand and drug supply
Chapter 2: Responses to drug use
Chapter 3: Selected issues
Chapter 4: The drugs problem in central and eastern European countries
Figures and tables
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The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has great pleasure in presenting its sixth Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union. The main purpose of the report is to help guide policy-making at EU, national and regional level.

This report presents an up-to-date picture of the drug situation in the EU and highlights new trends and developments. In addition to the general overview, the report addresses some key issues - cocaine, infectious diseases and synthetic drugs - in more detail. It also provides a general overview of the situation in the central and east European countries.

This year, the improvement in the quality and comparability of data produced by Member States is significant. Nevertheless, it is essential to maintain efforts in all Member States not only to enhance the comparability of data at EU level in all areas but also to ensure that these data are produced regularly.

This leads us to the very important issue of harmonising data which must be rapidly achieved to ensure that the information on drugs at EU level becomes more reliable and comparable than it is now. To facilitate this process, the EMCCDA has produced guidelines for the standardised implementation in the EU of its five key epidemiological indicators. In the coming year, the Member States will play a key role in ensuring the full implementation of these standardised indicators at national level.

It is of particular note that the EU strategy on drugs and its follow-up action plan (2000-04) highlight information and evaluation as key priorities. Indeed, collecting and analysing information forms a preliminary step in assessing the impact of any action. The EU action plan also emphasises the importance of drawing on the different sources of information available in the European Union - in particular the EMCDDA and Europol.

The EMCDDA is working intensively to fulfil its key information role. It has fine tuned its 2001-03 work programme to align it with the six priority targets of the EU strategy on drugs. The Centre is also contributing to the process of evaluating the impact of the EU action plan and has worked with its national focal points and with Europol and its national drugs units to conceive appropriate tools for producing two snapshots composed of a set of variables adapted to the six priority targets of the EU strategy.

The first snapshot will show the situation and responses in place in 1999 prior to the adoption of the EU action plan and will provide a baseline against which the progress achieved at the end of the plan in 2004 can be measured. The second snapshot will show the situation and responses in place in 2004 on the basis of information available from the same set of variables.

All of these steps will go some way to fulfilling the EMCDDA's main challenge - that of providing policy-makers with a solid knowledge base for informed drug-policy planning.


Georges Estievenart, Executive Director


The EMCDDA would like to thank the following for their help in producing this report:

the heads of the Reitox national focal points and their staff;

the services within each Member State that collected the raw data for this report;

the Members of the Management Board and the Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA;

the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union - in particular its Horizontal Working Party on Drugs - and the European Commission;

the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, the World Health Organisation, Europol,

Interpol, the World Customs Organisation and the Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS;

the Translation Centre for Bodies of the European Union and the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities;

Andrew Haig and Associates, graphic design and layout.


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