Illicit drugs know no borders, neither should policy making

Simone Korff de Gidts, The Netherlands Organisation for Health, Research and Development highlights the ERANID project for illicit drugs research

The negative impact of illicit drugs on the lives of people and communities is a transnational problem. The European Commission recognised this in 2012 and committed a budget to set up a European Research Network Area on Illicit Drugs (ERANID).

A consortium of 11 partners from 6 EU member states was established.

Partners in the ERANID project are:

  • Liverpool John Moores University, UK
  • Department of Health, UK
  • Home Office, UK
  • BELSPO (Belgian Federal Public Planning Service Science Policy), Belgium
  • Flanders Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium
  • MILDECA, France
  • Dipartimento per la Politiche antidroga, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Italy
  • General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), Portugal
  • Ministry of Health, Netherlands
  • The Dutch Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), Netherlands.

The first Strategic Research Agenda

The first achievement of the Network was the publication of the first Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), which provides a framework for multi-national collaboration in the field of illicit drugs research focusing on socio-economic and humanities research and both supply and demand. Drawn up as part of ERANID, the European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs primary purpose was to identify common research priorities representing the areas of greatest need for society, and that have the greatest potential to improve our understanding of the drug situation and support effective responses to it.

Based on the SRA two transnational joint calls were published: the first call was called ‘Understanding Drug Use Pathways’ and resulted in the funding of three projects, the second call ‘Society and Responses to Drug Use’, resulted in four projects (for more detailed information on the SRA and the projects please visit the ERANID website, www.eranid.eu).

Having been written in 2014, there is no misunderstanding about the need for an update of the SRA but the “core” of the document is still relevant and many of the described priorities in research have not been covered yet.

The funding of seven excellent projects is a good outcome of all the efforts undertaken by the partners in the ERANID network, but it would be a waste of opportunity if the existing network would not be able to be developed to a sustainable long-term cooperation between the EU Member States and other countries, including policy makers, research institutions and other stakeholders.

The problems related to illicit drugs are widespread, all countries are facing similar problems. Policy changes in one country effects other countries, the problems can affect any individual in some time in their life, directly or indirectly.

So with help of e.g. the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction (EMCDDA) in which most of the European countries participate it would be great if ERANID could be the first step in the establishment of that longer-term cooperation.

Funded projects:

First call

ImagenPathways: Understanding the Interplay between Cultural, Biological and Subjective Factors in Drug Use Pathways.

ATTUNE: Understanding Pathways to Stimulant Use: a mixed-methods examination of the individual, social and cultural factors shaping illicit stimulant use across Europe.

ALAMA-nightlife: Understanding the dynamics and consequences of young adult substance use pathways, a longitudinal and momentary analysis in the European nightlife scene.

Second call

REC-Path: Recovery pathways and societal responses in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium.

STANDUP: Sensory Processing SensiTivity AND drug Use recovery Pathways.

IDPSO: Illicit drug policies and social outcomes: a cross-country analysis.

D.U.R.E.S.S: Drug Use Recovery, Environment and Social Subjectivity.

 

Simone Korff de Gidts

Coordinator ERANID Project

The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development

Tel: +31 622 964 095

korffdegidts@zonmw.nl

www.eranid.eu

 

Please note: this is a commercial profile

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