Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Monitoring Centre Warns against Combined Drug Consumption

Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Monitoring Centre Warns against Combined Drug Consumption

Article excerpt

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), on 23 November, presented its Annual Report 2006 highlighting, in particular, the risks of combining the use of illegal drugs with legal drugs such as alcohol. "Our centre is responsible for monitoring the use of illegal drugs," claimed Marcel Reimen, Chairman of the EMCDDA Management Board, explaining that monitoring the use of legal drugs mixed with heroine for example was "an exception" that "would probably take some time". Care centres,aover the past few years, have been dealing with a growing number and variety of stimulant-related problems and poly-consumption' frequently involving stimulants (amphetamines, etc) and alcohol. The EMCDDA would like to develop methodologies to help them understand the way in which they are consumed. The centre has noted that, in addition to a growing desire for cooperation and concertation between member states, national anti-drug policies are being extended to include legal substances which lead to addiction, such as tobacco or alcohol.

Reimen stressed the need to be aware of the risks linked to soft drug' consumption, such as cannabis. "Several years ago," he said, "we didn't think that this drug caused any problems," but now, "some people smoke it up to ten times a day" with serious consequences. Cannabis remains the most commonly confiscated drug in the EU. Its price, in most European countries, has dropped between 1999 and 2004. …

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