The inclusion of civil society in the development and implementation of drug policies is widely recognised as being critically important. Civil society input can provide added context to policy considerations, giving policy makers access to a greater range of insights and information, and can support the popular legitimacy of policy actions. In short, a structured and formal civil society involvement (CSI) in policy arenas can better equip states to plan, implement and measure policy initiatives, thus directly contributing to national and EU drugs strategy objectives. However, states and civil society organisations (CSOs) do not always have ready access to good quality information on how this can be best achieved.
This is the challenge that this document is directed at assisting with. This is a ‘Road Map’ for civil society involvement in drug policy. It is directed at both policy makers and CSOs, and its main objective is to provide guidance through the different steps of developing and implementing effective and sustainable civil society structures in the field of drug policy on the local, regional and national level, as informed by the best available evidence. It is hoped that CSOs and policy makers will find it useful in planning and developing CSI in their countries.