European Union

Alcohol

(Alcohol) "When it comes to alcohol policy, it seems that the 15 'old' EU member states have converged to some extent. While alcohol policy has grown weaker in Finland and Sweden, several other countries -- including Southern European ones -- have reinforced their policies, for instance by lowering legal blood-alcohol levels for drivers and introducing stricter age limits for purchasing alcohol in both shops and restaurants."

European Union - Data - 12-3-12

(Alcohol Consumption Trends in the EU) "Although the European per capita consumption of alcohol has remained nearly constant over the past decade, this apparent steadiness hides two opposing trends. The Nordic countries and eastern Europe have seen an increase in adult per capita consumption, whereas western and southern Europe have experienced a decrease. Beer is the most prominent alcoholic beverage in almost all regions.

Integrated Approach to Licit and Illicit Drugs

(Integrated Approach to Licit and Illicit Drugs) "The trend towards an integrated approach to substance use appears to exist primarily among the pre-2004 EU Member States. It is these countries that have adopted a global strategy, or that are in the process of integrating their illicit drug and alcohol strategies or that have included many licit drug objectives in their illicit drug strategy. In central and eastern Europe, the picture is mainly one of separate strategies or just illicit drug strategies, with limited mention of licit drugs."

Impact of National Policies on Drug Use Prevalence in the EU

(Impact of National Policies on Drug Use Prevalence in the EU) "Differences in the prevalence of drug use are influenced by a variety of factors in each country. As countries with more liberal drug policies (such as the Netherlands) and those with a more restricted approach (such as Sweden) have not very different prevalence rates, the impact of national drug policies (more liberal versus more restrictive approaches) on the prevalence of drug use and especially problem drug use remains unclear.

Drug Control Spending Cuts in the EU Caused by Economic Downturn

(Drug Control Spending Cuts in the EU Caused by Economic Downturn) "Many European countries continue to face the
consequences of the recent economic downturn. The extent of fiscal consolidation or austerity measures and their impact differs between European countries. Among the 18 countries with sufficient data to make a comparison, reductions were reported in health and public order and safety — the areas of government spending where most drug-related public expenditure originates.

'Global' Scope

('Global' Scope) "Five countries have adopted strategies or action plans that have a ‘global’ scope, covering licit and illicit drugs and, in some cases, addictive behaviours.

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