Drugs Awareness Training and Education

As countries increasingly move toward more relaxed drug laws, the role of education will become the main focus of public services who wish to prevent drug abuse. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s (EMCDDA) 2019 Country Drug Reports; The UK has seen an increase in the use of all major illicit substances in the last decade. In Ireland the same study showed that drug use has become more common among the general population in recent years, with the highest use of cannabis, cocaine and MDMA all among 15 – 24 year olds. In Spain, cocaine was involved in almost half of the reported drug-related emergencies in 2016. Available data in Germany suggest there has been an increase in cocaine and amphetamine use among young adults particularly. Interestingly the prevalence of illicit drug use in Cyprus has been relatively stable in recent years, with cannabis being the most used substance. Possession of most common street drugs is treated as a misdemeanour in Cyprus and only criminalized when it is an “amount larger than small” which arguably makes the Cyprus one of the most liberal EU countries in terms of drug liberalization, apart from Portugal. In 2001, Portugal became the first European country to rescind all criminal penalties for personal drug possession and offered remedial treatment rather than prison sentences. EMCDDA data from recent years has shown that lifetime use of cannabis and other illicit substances among Portuguese students is lower than the European average and so to is the use of psychoactive substances. This carefully selected consortium of partners will offer a diverse collection of attitudes and empathys to drug abuse. Partner organisations and stakeholders will experience a unique opportunity to share and discuss best practices.