EMCDDA quotes


Key EU anti-drugs activities from 1988:

"What are the main drugs used in the EU today? …only a minority of those who have taken cannabis use it regularly, and certain legal drugs - such as alcohol, tobacco and some medicines such as tranquillisers - are more widely and more frequently used than any illegal drug.
What is the most harmful drug currently available in the EU? … the illegal drug associated with the most serious health consequences … is heroin. However, the total number of deaths and diseases related to alcohol and tobacco use are considerably greater than those related to heroin.
How many people die because of illegal drug use in Europe?
In recent years, according to the EMCDDA's Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union , between six and seven thousand people are recorded annually across the EU as dying from the direct effect of illegal drugs. It should be remembered, however, that alcohol and tobacco use are also related directly or indirectly with a very high number of deaths".

EMCDDA’s Briefing 2, ‘Drug users and the law in the EU - A balance between punishment and treatment’
"Conclusions: Drug users and the law in the EU — policy considerations
3. Effective police action in the field of drugs needs to be targeted primarily at the most harmful situations of drug-related crime".

EMCDDA’s Briefing 6 ‘Recreational drug use — a key EU challenge, Policies must aim to reduce risk’
"The consequences and risks of recreational drug use should be scientifically assessed. Appropriate responses should be made by the social and health sectors. … Attempts to control drug availability are not adequate responses for reducing risk".

EMCDDA’s ‘Briefing’ Evaluation of the European Union’s strategy and action plan (2000–2004)
"an evaluation of policy is particularly useful … in permitting a reasoned value judgement of the effects of public action, in other words, a judgement based on a scientific basis. Some Member States have launched vast programmes for the evaluation of policies implemented, often contributing for the first time to the accountability of the State to its citizens for what it does, how it does it and the results it achieves. As such, evaluation is not only an activity which makes it possible to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public action, but also a response to a demand for transparency which civil society has long and legitimately demanded in modern democracies".
"Evaluation is an essential condition for the transparency and legitimacy of public action. In the case of drugs, a field known to be controversial and complex, evaluation is also a key tool in permitting an improvement in policy".