Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide


Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide

11 April 2022

The Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide 2021 was developed to support practitioners and policymakers in tackling the negative consequences of drug use. 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

These two 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 in 2022) 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 will be published starting on 19 October 2021.


Drug-related harms require specific responses. Miniguides focusing on them will be published at the end of 2021.


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. Miniguides focusing on different settings will be published in 2022.

Vulnerable groups

Some sub-groups of the population have particular drug problems, needs or vulnerabilities that require specific interventions. Miniguides addressing the needs of vulnerable groups will be published in 2022.


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.


In addition to the miniguides, a series of short ‘Spotlights’ focus on a number of hot topics requiring special attention: