Drug Abuse in the Global Village

Drug Abuse in Western Europe

                                                      NATIONAL STRATEGY

A national Coordination Unit ("Koordinationsstelle fur Suchtfragen") was created in 1980 within the Department of Public Health to coordinate the activities of the relevant ministries and regional authorities (Austria 1991).


A coordinating Committee (Commission de Coordination) was established in 1991 to coordinate all drug control activities. The Committee also has the mandate to centralize and publish official statistics and population survey results. The synthesis of the information is to be published in September 1993 (U.N. 1992).


An Interministerial Committee on Drugs and Drug Abuse was formed in 1989 to prepare government decisions on matters related to drug abuse. A General Delegation on Drugs and Drug Abuse (DGLDT) monitors the implementation of Guidelines laid down by the Government and the coherence of actions taken. An initial action programme adopted by the Council of Ministers in 1990, aimed at reinforcing the existing legislation and international structures. Programmes in the field of education, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation were set up and improvements in data collection are being made with the establishment of a "National Observatory" (France 1991)


The National Programme on Drug Abuse Control (NPDAC) was approved in June 1990. The NPDAC aims to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and public education, developing and improving services to drug abusers, promoting innovative approaches to treatment and rehabilitation, using therapy rather than punishment as to deal with drug addicts and increasing efforts to reduce illicit drug trafficking (National Programme on Drug Abuse Control 1990).


An Inter Ministerial Committee consisting of the Ministries of Health, Justice, Education and of Family has been created to coordinate drug abuse control activities (Luxembourg 1991). In addition a Multidisciplinary Committee consisting of representatives from law authorities and treatment and care authorities is operating with the aim of studying and applying drug abuse control measures, defining specific treatment programmes for individual cases and informing law authorities of the outcomes of treatment of drug addicts who have had their sentence suspended while under treatment (Luxembourg 1991).


The Ministry for Welfare, Health and Cultural Affairs is responsible for coordinating the national drug policy. This includes the implementation of the Opium Act and other prevention and treatment policies. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for law enforcement policy (Netherlands 1991).

            The primary aim of Netherlands' drug policy is harm minimization through health promotion and reduction of drug abuse related risks and their consequences to society as a whole. The policy also aims to ascertain that prosecution and imprisonment do not cause more harm than drug abuse per se. Further, demand reduction programmes are make part of a social security system which guaranties a minimum income health care services. This policy aims to provide a safety net to ensure that the underlying reasons for drug abuse are dealt with and that their consequences are minimized (Netherlands 1991).


No information reported by 31st December 1993.


Each of the 26 "cantons", has its own parliament, government and laws and is, to a large extent, responsible for its own drug strategy. The Confederation assumes activities with respect to legislation, coordination and finance. The Confederation decided in 1991 to become more active in the field of prevention and aims at reducing drug abuse by 20 per cent by 1996 (Switzerland 1991).