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Cannabis regulations in the United States


Although cannabis is still prohibited at federal level, 8 American states and the District of Columbia have made unprecedented changes to their cannabis regulations with the legalisation of cultivation, sale, possession and use of cannabis for non-medical (i.e. recreational) purposes from the age of 21.

This memo describes the regulatory models instituted in the American states in which cannabis has been legalised, highlighting both the similarities and differences in the regulations. It then examines the processes and common features of legalising states.

Analysis of drugs in sewage - An approach to assess substance use, applied to a prison setting


The objective of this report is to present the method and its application in the specific context of a university  research project initiated in 2015 in a prison setting. An initial feasibility study was conducted in three prisons in  France. The first results, together with the difficulties encountered, the limitations and ethical considerations will  be developed in order to generate all of the aspects necessary to understanding and interpreting these types of  analyses.

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Drugs, key data 2017


Since 2007, OFDT has been publishing Drugs, Key Data, an overall perspective digest with the most recent and detailed facts and figures. The 7th issue, an 9-page document produced in 2017, is released to mark International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. It provides the most relevant figures in order to measure and present a quick overview of the French drug-related phenomena in 2017.

This document summarises for the main substances the levels of use observed in the French population as a whole. Then, it provides detailed information on use, treatment, health and social consequences as well as trafficking data per product. When possible, trends in these areas are provided.

Tobacco smoking and tobacco cessation in 2016


The review on tobacco and tobacco smoking indicators in France brings together recent figures which vary in nature and origin. The annual 2016 review on tobacco has been drawn up from the monthly reports and presents them as a concise overview.

While 2015 was characterised by the first rise in tobacconist network sales since 2010, this trend reversed in 2016. Official sales are on the decline and have more or less reached their 2014 level.
Sales of smoking cessation treatments are on the increase (+ 16.5%), the main treatments still being oral substitutes ahead of patches, accounting for more than 90% of the market.

Psychoactive substances, users and markets: recent trends (2015-2016)


Since 1999, the Emerging Trends and New Drugs (TREND) scheme of the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) has been monitoring recent and emerging phenomena in the field of drug use. Tendances n° 115 summarises the main developments marking the sixteenth year of observation conducted by the network comprising seven sites (Bordeaux, Lille, Marseille, Metz, Paris, Rennes and Toulouse) extended to Lyon in 2016.

The first part, dedicated to the changing contexts and practices relating to substance use, touches on the recreational scene, strategic venues for certain types of substance use and the development of "chemsex" among part of the gay community. The analysis then focuses on the transformations in trafficking, marked by a rise in violence and the need for traffickers to seek out users who are increasingly reluctant to frequent traditional dealing sites. Lastly, the last part of this edition deals with the substances, particularly MDMA/ecstasy and its growing success, medications containing codeine and opioids (with the emergence of first-time users among individuals without a history of illicit drug use), crack and its expanding market in and beyond the Île-de-France region, and the still somewhat limited diffusion of new psychoactive substance (NPS) use.

Legislations on narcotics in Europe in 2016: common points and differences


On 19 April this year, during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) special session, the UN proposed a "non-binding" resolution to make more room for the health and social sector and prevention than strict repression in the management of the drug "problem". Back in 2001, Portugal decided to replace penal sanctions with medical/social measures in response to substance use offences and certain cases of drug possession (see below). Uruguay along with certain American States (such as Colorado, Alaska and Washington State, for example) legalised1 cannabis in 2013.

European legislation, although presenting many similarities, does not have a uniform stance towards the repressive approach to the drug phenomenon. What differences and common elements can be identified by comparing the different legislation? What is the position of the legal systems based on the scale ranging from health and social measures to the punitive approach? Which have the most severe criminalisation regimes and which are the most lenient?

The OFDT issued a report on these matters, structured in three parts. It first presents the international legislative framework established by the United Nations and the European Union. It then compares the different legal systems in the 28 countries of the European Union and Norway. In conclusion, the report focuses on the special case relating to new psychoactive substances (NPS), the development of which is putting the legislative systems in the different countries to the test.

Young people and Addictions: an overview


Over the past twenty years, numerous undertakings by the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) have focused on juvenile behaviours. A collective OFDT publication entitled Jeunes et addictions has just been published in French. This study of substance use throughout adolescence and early adulthood is essential as this is when certain addictive behaviours begin and can sometimes become established, based on initiation and experiences. This collective publication provides an analysis of psychoactive substance use and its impact according to a continuum covering nearly 15 years of life: from 11 to 25 years, i.e. approximately 12 million individuals in France. Tendances n° 114 provides a summary of this publication.

Overview of CAARUDs in 2014


The support centres for the reduction of drug-related harms (CAARUDs) represent a central aspect of the policy on harm reduction measures in France. These 144 centres are aimed at vulnerable populations exposed to major risk due to their substance use habits. Their missions are to prevent and reduce harm related to substance use and to improve the social situation of users. In order to achieve this, professionals inform users on the risks of the various substances and patterns of use, distribute sterile single-use supplies (syringes, crack pipes, snorting paraphernalia, injection and inhalation kits, etc.) and promote access to care and social entitlements. CAARUDs also carry out "social mediation" activities with a view to facilitating integration within their environment.

For the first time since this monitoring instrument was created, analysis of the 2014 CAARUD activity reports offers a comprehensive overview of the geographical coverage of the scheme, the resources used and the intervention capacities of the facilities. The CAARUDs play a central role in distributing prevention material, alone responsible for more than half (55%) of the syringes dispensed to injecting drug users. Although the true needs of drug users are difficult to identify, the difference in the situations is striking: location of CAARUDs restricted to large cities, varying and often fairly restricted opening times, very low representation of the female population. Although all CAARUDs everywhere share the same missions, the small teams in certain facilities, and the lack or inconsistency of professional qualifications at many facilities raise questions as to whether all users can have access to the same level of harm reduction services.

CSAPA clients - situation in 2014 and changes since 2007


Although the treatment and prevention centres for addiction (CSAPA) are primarily an instrument for treating addictions, whether psychoactive substance use (alcohol, illegal drugs) or non-substance addictions, they also represent a platform for observing individuals facing these problems, through  a national survey (Common Data Collection on Addictions and Treatments – RECAP) and common activity reports.

Tendances n° 110 focuses on the description, based on these two sources, of the characteristics of CSAPA clients in 2014, and the changes since 2007. In the years from 2007 to 2014, the CSAPA underwent major changes related to the expansion and redefinition of their missions. The number of clients increased by 10% between 2010 and 2014, and most certainly in a higher proportion between 2007 and 2014.

The most striking change occurring during this period is the reduction in the number of individuals describing heroin as the primary drug and the increase in the number of cannabis users.

French Antilles and Guiana : on the international cocaïne trafficking routes


2015 was marked by record cocaine seizures – close on 11 tonnes – on French territory. The scale of these seizures is largely due to the operations performed in the Caribbean zone with a high degree of French activity due to the presence of two French overseas departments, Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the collectivity of Saint-Martin. At the same time, the rise in cocaine seizures in Guiana, or originating from this territory, suggests that this French department in South America is in the process of becoming a major cocaine transit zone targeting not only France, but the Northern European market.

Drugs, International Challenges n° 9 examines these developments regarding the historical background of the issue.

Drug use during the « lycée years » - Results of the 2015 ESPAD survey in France


Since 1999, the quadrennial ESPAD survey conducted among 16-year-old teenagers attending school in the majority of European countries has included French students and enables comparison of psychoactive substance use, primarily alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. Since 2011 in France, the survey has been extended to all teenagers attending lycée, i.e. the last three years of secondary education, thus providing an opportunity to observe the diffusion of psychoactive substance use among teenagers through school. In 2015, 6,642 lycée students were therefore interviewed in mainland France.

Tendances n° 112 examines the initial results for mainland France, which generally provide appreciable insights into tobacco and alcohol use among lycée students since 2011, with daily tobacco use falling by more than 24% and a reduction of more than 30% in regular alcohol use. However, no changes were observed in regular cannabis use (7.7%) between 2011 and 2015, despite a slight reduction in lifetime use (at least one instance of use). Differences, sometimes striking, in use are observed between the main types of school (whether vocational or general), with smokers observed more frequently among students in the vocational sector (33.4% vs. 23.2% on average). Lastly, as an extension to the ESCAPAD and HBSC surveys in 2014, this analysis also provided an opportunity to determine shisha and e-cigarette use among teenagers.

New psychoactive substances: user profiles and pratices


An online survey among users of New Psychoactive Substances was conducted in France, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic in 2014, in the context of the I-TREND project, jointly funded by the European Commission. It aimed to gain greater insight into the profiles, motivations and practices of individuals having tried or using these substances.

Focusing on individuals having used a NPS in the last 12 months, Tendances n° 108 examines the contexts and reasons for use on the most recent occasion, together with practices in terms of use. It  then examines the channels used to purchase the products, notably online purchases, issues relating to information on NPS, ending with a brief insight into the opinion of the respondents on the properties and dangers of NPS compared to conventional drugs.

The evolution of population attending youth addiction outpatient clinic (CJC’s) 2014-2015


Since 2005, the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) has been responsible for evaluating the youth addiction outpatient clinics (CJC) scheme, an initiative launched in 2004 by the French Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the French Interministerial Mission for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (MILDECA). This survey reveals the evolution of the population attending the clinics following a public communication campaign conducted by the French National Institute for Prevention and Health Education (INPES) at the start of the year 2015.

Tendances n° 107 examines the main findings identified in terms of the methods of entry and the characteristics of the clients accessing the facilities.

Drugs in Europe

2017 EMCDDA European Drug Report

What do the latest data tell us about the European drug market? What are the new trends in drug use among European adults and school students? What are the harms associated with drug use and what is being done to counter them? These and other questions are explored in the 2017 EMCDDA European Drug Report.

Country drug reports

Developed by the EMCDDA, in cooperation with the Reitox national focal points, these graphic-rich reports cover: drug use and public health problems; drug policy and responses and drug supply.

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.