EMCDDA Director addresses Lithuanian drug policy conference

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel will address a conference hosted by the Lithuanian Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department (NTAKD) in Vilnius today, as the organisation prepares to present a new strategy (2018–2028) to the Lithuanian parliament and government.

Dedicated to Lithuania’s drug policy review, with its human rights and health approach, the conference will underline the importance of a balanced and long-term drug policy, geared towards the creation of a healthy and safe society.

Mr Goosdeel will present the EMCDDA’s current work — particularly its strategy for contributing to a healthier and more secure Europe — as well as highlights on Europe’s drug situation. The Director will place special emphasis on the need for cooperation in gathering information on the drug situation — embodied in the work of the agency’s Reitox network — which can contribute to informed policymaking.

A central feature of the conference will be the presentation of the NTAKD’s new policy document and guidelines, which are intended to steer Lithuanian policymaking over the next decade.

Other presentations will look at the examples of the drug policies of Portugal and the Czech Republic, outlining the impact of drug decriminalisation on drug use and public health and the importance and benefit of making harm-reduction measures available to drug users.

The conference will also examine the role of the judicial system in tackling serious drug-related crime and will feature a presentation from Europol on the challenges posed by international organised crime.

The EMCDDA works on the principle that sound information is the key to an effective strategy on drugs. Contributing to conferences of this kind underlines this message and helps ensure that the agency continue to play a key role in the development of effective drug policies in Europe.