EMCDDA showcases work in the area of public health

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety to visit EMCDDA

Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, will visit the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) this afternoon for an update on the agency’s work in the area of public health.

The Commissioner is in Lisbon for the final conference of the Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (RARHA) project, where he will speak at the closing session along with Adalberto Campos Fernandes, Portuguese Minister of Health and João Goulão, Portuguese National Drug Coordinator.

The RARHA project, launched at the EMCDDA in January 2014, is a three-year initiative, funded by the European Union under the second EU Health Programme. Led by the Portuguese General-Directorate for Intervention and Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), it was conceived to mobilise countries to develop common approaches in line with the EU alcohol strategy. The EMCDDA is among RARHA’s collaborating partners and also a member of its Advisory Board.

During the visit to the EMCDDA, the Commissioner will discuss, with the Director and staff, the issue of polydrug use in Europe, including the findings from the latest report from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). He will also be presented with the agency’s latest work in the area of drug-related infectious diseases, in particular hepatitis C.

Monitoring the harms related to new drugs in Europe, via the EU Early Warning System (EWS) on new psychoactive substances (NPS), will also be covered. These harms vary in nature and can be serious, including acute poisonings and deaths. In 2014 and 2015, the EMCDDA issued 33 public health-related alerts to the Member States regarding the use of NPS.

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