Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide (issues of EMCDDA, 2021 – 2024)

Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide examines some of the key public health challenges in the drugs field today and offers timely and practical advice to practitioners and policymakers for designing, targeting and implementing effective responses. The guide is composed of four sets of miniguides that look at responses to a range of drug problems in Europe. Framing the miniguides are two central resources: an action framework for developing responses and a set of strategies for successful implementation. Several spotlights frame issues cross-cutting the different components.

Action framework and strategies for successful implementation

The resources provide support to those planning health and social policy or interventions to address drug problems. The action framework helps to clarify current thinking about the response process and the factors to consider at each stage, while the strategies (to be published at a later stage) detail a number of activities that may help to support successful implementation.

Patterns of use

Miniguides considering problems from the perspective of particular patterns of drug use and the specific substances that are of concern in many EU countries.


Miniguides considering responses to particular drug-related harms that are of concern in many EU countries.


An important factor that can influence drug use, the problems that may be associated with use and the selection of appropriate responses is the setting in which use occurs. 

People with vulnerability

Some sub-groups of the population have particular drug problems, needs or vulnerabilities that require specific interventions.


A wide range of health and social responses are available for tackling drug problems. These may be used with different populations, at various stages in the drug problem, individually or in combination. Here you will find resources that consider the specific issues that different interventions aim to address.