This paper was created by young professionals and activists working in the fields of harm reduction, drug treatment, public health, social policy and human rights in various European countries: United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Romania. We are all members of Youth Organisations for Drug Action, a network that connects and supports young people who are working to reform drug policies in Europe, towards a model based on the principles of scientific evidence, human rights and cost-effectiveness. All contributors have both some educational background and work experience in areas related to the topic of this paper.
In this paper we aim to discuss the current situation regarding drug use in Europe among young people (aged 15-30, with variation in definition across countries) and the availability of services aimed at young drug users or potential users. We will also compare approaches adopted in examined countries to show which has proven to be to be most effective at reducing overall drug prevalence among young people as well as related risky behaviours and harms. Regional differences in drug culture, historical context and developing trends will also be taken into account.
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