"The UK 2017 Drug Strategy addresses illicit drug problems with two overarching aims: to reduce illicit and other harmful drug use and to increase the rates of people recovering from dependency. These aims are supported by four key themes: (i) reducing demand; (ii) restricting supply; (iii) building recovery; and (iv) global action. Within the strategy, policies concerning health, education, housing and social care apply to England, those concerning policing and the criminal justice system cover both England and Wales, while the tasks of the Department for Work and Pensions relate to England, Scotland and Wales. A number of powers are devolved to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and each of these countries has its own strategy and action plans. Both the current Welsh strategy, Working Together to Reduce Harm: The Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008-18, and Scotland’s strategy, The Road to Recovery: A New Approach to Tackling Scotland’s Drug Problem, were adopted in 2008. In 2018, Scotland launched a new drug and alcohol strategy. Northern Ireland’s policy, New Strategic Direction for Alcohol and Drugs Phase 2: 2011-16, was launched in 2011, and had a final review in 2018. The strategies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales address both illicit drugs and alcohol.

"All European countries evaluate their drug policies and strategies through ongoing indicator monitoring and specific research projects. In 2017, the Home Office published an evaluation of the actions in the Drug Strategy 2010, a multi-criterion assessment looking at the effectiveness of the responses, their costs and value for money; the evaluation focused on England. In 2018, the Welsh Assembly published an evaluation of the Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008-18 as part of the process of developing a new strategy."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2019), United Kingdom Country Drug Report 2019, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.