Annual reports sent to the EMCDDA (European monitoring center for drugs and drug addiction), giving an overview of the latest developments on the drug problem in France.
National report to the EMCDDA - 2007
In France, the year 2006 saw the adoption of an Addiction Plan by the General Health Authority (Direction Générale de la Santé or “DGS”) and the Directorate of Hospitals and Patient Care (Direction des Hôpitaux et d'Organisation des Soins or “DHOS”). Six major themes concerning the provision of health care for drug users were established for the period 2007-2011 (part 1). The previous government also adopted the law dated 5 March 2007 concerning the prevention of delinquency, one of the key points of which particularly concerned drug use1. The memorandum officially establishing “therapeutic communities” was published in October 2006. On 29 August 2007, a new president was appointed to head the Interministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Addiction (Mission Interministérielle de Lutte contre les Drogues et la Toxicomanie or “MILDT”).
No new results have been published concerning surveys carried out among the general population. The end of 2006 and the first half of 2007 were devoted to the processing of existing data on a regional basis (ESCAPAD 2005), the launch of ESPAD 2007 (for which the data analysis is currently underway) and the preparation of ESCAPAD 2008. The CAST (CAnnabis Screening Test) was the subject of a psychometric assessment, the results of which are expected during 2008. A presentation was provided of the Quanti-festif survey carried out by C. Reynaud-Maurupt in the “techno/party” environment, financed by the OFDT (please see part 2: “Specific groups”)
In mid 2007, "Cannabis Données Essentielles" was published (Cannabis: Key Data), the first complete monograph exclusively devoted to the leading illegal substance consumed in France. In addition to usage levels, a diverse range of themes are examined including regular and problem use of this substance, THC concentration levels, estimated market data (clients, resellers, turnover, etc.) in addition to public perceptions and responses. The report can be downloaded at the following address: http://www.ofdt.fr/BDD/publications/docs/cdecomp.pdf
Where prevention is concerned, the ReLION scheme has submitted its initial results (part 3). The analysis of the RECAP data concerning requests for treatment supplied its initial results in 2006. These were updated during the second half of 2007. This data further adds to the information obtained from the low threshold structures (part 4).
High dose buprenorphine accounts for 80% of all substitution treatments prescribed in France. This medicine is also the subject of misuse, an estimation of which is presented (part 5). Over and above the quantitative aspects, we should also note the appearance of a new type of trafficking, which appears to be better organised and focused on the countries of Northern and Eastern Europe.
For the first time ever, the Central Office for the Repression of Narcotics Trafficking (Office Central de Répression du Trafic Illicite de Stupéfiants or “OCRTIS”) has not published detailed information concerning overdose deaths recorded in 2006. For its part, the DRAMES data has not been published at all. On the other hand, the CépiDc-INSERM has updated its data, which is reliable but available only up until 2005. A comparison of the three information sources is presented (part 6), which reveals two interesting aspects: the underrecording of overdoses by the OCRTIS and DRAMES, and the continued existence of a lower level of overdose deaths in France than those seen in neighbouring countries. Comorbidities related to drug use are once again covered by several information sources.
The report includes a presentation of the results from the Coquelicot survey, the PRELUD survey in addition to RECAP data.
Sentences for narcotic offences are continuing their upward trend according to data supplied by the Ministry of Justice, with an increased number of sentences issued for drug use and drug consumption in 2005 (part 8). Further “upstream”, the data supplied by the OCRTIS shows a slight reduction in the number of arrests for narcotics use and trafficking in 2006. Cannabis is by far the most prevalent substance.
Concerning the prevention of crimes related to drug use, the only new point is the announcement of future saliva tests to be applied to vehicle drivers. Trials are currently underway (part 9)
Overall, seizures of illegal psychoactive substances in 2006 were lower than those seen in previous years. However, this reduction hides a number of disparities including a reduction in cannabis and crack seizures, and an increase in cocaine and heroin seizures. The retail price of cocaine has nevertheless continued falling, reaching a historically low price in 2006 (part 10).
Summary of Selected Issues.
Drug use entails a cost which goes beyond simply providing treatment for drugs users. This selected issue proposes a quantification of public expenditure committed by all French authorities including the Ministry of Health of course, but also the Ministries of Justice, the Interior, Education and Defence, etc.
Vulnerable groups of young people
This selected issue discusses the subject of vulnerability considered from three key angles: from the viewpoint of general population surveys (enhanced risks of use); from the perspective of users faced with psycho-social precariousness; and finally with regard to the provision of treatment for users.
Drug-related research in Europe.
A summary of the current state of drugs research carried out in France, regarding the subjects covered but also the organisation of research and the various teams involved. This special issue also provides an insight into the structural strong points and weaknesses, including in particular the duality between the contribution made by the neurocognitive sciences (an advanced sector) and the fragmented nature of the contributions made by the social sciences.
Download full report
Download Selected issue : Public expenditure attributable to illegal drugs in France in 2005
Download Selected issue : Vulnerable groups of young people
Download Selected issue : Research into drugs and addiction phenomena in France
Drugs in Europe
- Drug facts, figures and analyses: across Europe and by country
- Latest trends and legal, political and social responses
- Selected issues: Vulnerable groups of young people; National drug-related research in Europe; Towards a better understanding of drug-related public expenditure in Europe
Country situation summaries
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) website has a concise overview for each EU Member State on their national drug situation, as well as legal texts in their original formats, an indispensable tool for monitoring and analysing legislative developments in the Member States.
The European Union and the drug phenomenon
The European Union & the drug phenomenon : Frequently asked questions , joint publication between the EMCDDA and the European Commission, october 2010, 12 p.