An overview of drug approaches in Europe

April 10, 2014

Countries in Europe, even neighbours, have vastly different approaches to combating drug abuse.

Here is an overview.

CRIMINALISATION OF DRUG USE/CONSUMPTION:

- Drug use is a in:

Norway, Finland, Sweden, France, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, and Luxembourg (all drugs except for cannabis).

- Drug use is a non-criminal offence (a minor offence, misdemeanour or contravention comparable to a parking offence) in:

Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Luxembourg for cannabis.

- Drug use is not an offence in:

Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Malta and Turkey. In Romania, where the use of drugs is prohibited, no penalty is specified.

- Drug possession for personal use is a criminal offence punishable by a prison sentence in most . No imprisonment is possible for minor possession offences in:

Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

- Only the Netherlands allows consumption of marijuana in sanctioned coffee shops.

- Drug use, mainly of heroin, may also be tolerated in special consumption rooms—professionally supervised areas for drug use in safer, more hygienic conditions.

HARM REDUCTION POLICIES:

- Countries that provide Heroin Assisted Treatment: (synthetic heroin injections for addicts for whom other therapies failed):

Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom.

- Countries with drug consumption rooms:

Denmark, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain.

- Countries that allow Naloxone treatment, to be administered by a friend or family member of a addict in case of an overdose:

Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom.

All countries except Turkey have exchange programmes for drug addicts to obtain clean needles.

TOP 5 REPORTED DRUG LAW OFFENCES:

United Kingdom - 152,406 (2011)

TOP 5 REPORTED DRUG-RELATED ADULT DEATHS in cases per million and total count (2011 or last year with available information):

Source: The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Data is for the 28 EU member countries plus Norway and Turkey.

Explore further: 'Zero tolerance' Sweden leaves heavy drug users behind

Related Stories

'Zero tolerance' Sweden leaves heavy drug users behind

April 10, 2014
Sweden boasts one of Europe's lowest consumption of recreational drugs, but the same strict policy authorities consider key to success could also be pushing up the number of drug-related deaths.

Denmark opens more 'drug rooms' after successful trial

April 10, 2014
The gangly, 46-year-old father of three speaks five languages and talks effortlessly about international politics. What he can't do, for the moment at least, is kick his cocaine and heroin habit.

Montreal seeks drug law exemption for consumption rooms

December 11, 2013
Montreal health officials demanded a legal exemption Wednesday to allow four "shooting galleries" for addicts to inject drugs legally and under supervision.

Cannabis use among teens is on the rise in some developing countries

November 22, 2013
It's common to associate cannabis use with affluent youth in wealthy societies. But the relationship between societal and family affluence and cannabis use appears to be changing. A study published online today in the scientific ...

Estonia tops EU drug overdose deaths list

February 13, 2013
Officials in Estonia raised the alarm Wednesday after a report into drug use in Europe found that the small Baltic nation had the highest incidence of deaths from drug overdoses in the EU.

Recommended for you

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

August 15, 2017
While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Report reveals underground US haven for heroin, drug users

August 8, 2017
A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

Regular energy drink use linked to later drug use among young adults

August 8, 2017
Could young adults who regularly consume highly caffeinated energy drinks be at risk for future substance use? A new study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol ...

Gamblers more likely to have suffered childhood traumas, research shows

August 2, 2017
Men with problem and pathological gambling addictions are more likely to have suffered childhood traumas including physical abuse or witnessing violence in the home, according to new research.

Incorporating 12-step program elements improves youth substance-use disorder treatment

July 26, 2017
A treatment program for adolescents with substance-use disorder that incorporates the practices and philosophy of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) produced even better results than the current state-of-the ...

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

July 21, 2017
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.