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Eur Addict Res. 2013;19(2):74-81. doi: 10.1159/000341719. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Cocaine-related health emergencies in Europe: a review of sources of information, trends and implications for service development.

Author information

1
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cocaine-related health consequences are difficult to observe. Data on drug users in health-emergency settings may be a useful source of information on consequences that are not visible via other information sources.

METHODS:

Thirty European countries submit an annual national report on the drug situation to the EMCDDA. All reports for the period 2007-2010 were analyzed, with particular attention given to auditing cocaine-related mentions. Analysis was also performed in order to identify sources and case definitions, assess coverage, audit cases and, where possible, to identify long-term trends.

RESULTS:

Considerable heterogeneity existed between countries in their approach to recording drug-related emergencies, with only Spain and the Netherlands having established formal indicators. The highest annual numbers of cocaine-related episodes were reported by the UK (3,502), Spain (2,845) and the Netherlands (1,211). A considerable (2- to 3-fold) increase in the numbers of cocaine-related episodes has been reported since the end of the 1990s in these countries; these increases peaked in Spain and England around 2007/08.

CONCLUSIONS:

The analysis reported here suggests the need to develop more standardized approaches to monitoring drug-related emergencies. It points to the potential value of developing effective referral links between the emergency and specialized drug services working with cocaine users.

PMID:
23151969
DOI:
10.1159/000341719
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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