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In spite of the limits of Community competence in public health, a number of important initiatives are being put forward to tackle the problems of illicit drug use, with the objective of reducing its harmful effects. The Health Council (May 1989) recommended a number of actions to be taken in order to delineate the problem and asked the Commission to set up a working party with a brief to evaluate systems to detect drug consumption and to cooperate with international bodies. A policy outline for the prevention of HIV infection among intravenous drug users was produced. It included Community-wide initiatives as well as Community cooperation and support for local and regional programmes aimed at reducing the harmful effects of drugs and AIDS. In addition to actions that may be taken in the future, such as a study of problems related to drug use, rehabilitation programmes, training of health professionals, harm reduction and information exchanges, it is also recommended that the judiciary and the health authorities exchange their respective viewpoints. Finally, attention is drawn to the importance of Community sponsored actions, to the danger that drugs could be taken as an excuse to impose border restrictions after 1992 and to the need for international cooperation.

Additional information

Authors: BERLIN A, CEC, Luxembourg (LU)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: III Journadas Estatales de Psicologia y Drogodependencias, Madrid (ES), Nov 3-4, 1989
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper ES 35188 ORA
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