Under the new work programme covering the period 2011-2014, research is undertaken by ad-hoc groups working on specific issues. The main objective is to identify effective approaches of coherent policies for licit and illicit drugs
The first project launched is dealing with the experiences on coherent and/or integrated policies for licit and illicit drugs, in particular with the comparison and policy effectiveness indicators of coherent drug policies. The aim
of the integrated policy expert group is to reply to the questions ‘what are the best structures to reach coherent drug policies?’ and ‘which types of models could be used to test whether a coherent policy could reach the expected results’. The project is based on two previous studies, namely:
“From a policy on illegal drugs to a policy on psychoactive substances” - the 2008 overview on how drug policy is developed taking into account the national political context, the influence of international conventions and European strategies, the evolution of scientific evidence and treatment. This study provides elements of reply to the question whether it is better to implement a policy of integration of substances or a single policy for each of the substances.
“Towards an integrated policy on psychoactive substances: a theoretical and empirical analysis” - the 2010 publication builds upon the work of the overview and presents the scientific grounds for choosing between a separate policy for each substance and a single, "integrated" policy incorporating all substances. The question remained open, however, as to which structures and bodies can better serve single policies or an integrated policy for all substances.
These two publications were undertaken by the Research platform which in the work programme 2007-2010 superseded the first group of experts in epidemiology set up in Europe and which was active between 1982-2004 in developing data collection indicators and monitoring methodologies. The platform focused on the assessment of the impact of research on policy and on the development of evidence-based policy.