Laws & Policy

"In Germany, the term ‘drug policy’ is undergoing a gradual change of meaning. Until the end of the last century, it was exclusively related to illegal drugs that were at the centre of the political interest. There was no comparable conception either for an alcohol or tobacco policy or for an ‘addiction‘3 policy, comprising the whole range of addictive substances. In recent years however, (1) disorders resulting from legal psychotropic substances and (2) common aspects of all substances (e.g. in universal prevention or in patients with multiple abuse) as well as non-substance-related forms of addiction4 (e.g. pathological gambling) have increasingly moved into the focus of the political interest. This is the reason why the terms ‘drug and addiction policy’ or ‘addiction policy’ find more frequent use, gradually replacing the term ‘drug policy’. As a result of the differences in the policy aims pursued and strategies deployed in the area of legal and illegal substances, the term ‘drug and addiction policy’ finds preferred usage in the German language.
"Moreover, the range of vision is expanding from the original main focus on substance-related addiction to risky and harmful use and thus to a comprehensive understanding of health policy for substance-related disorders and risks. However, in the German language there is no appropriate term reflecting this expansion of the concept, so the (insufficient) term of ‘addiction policy’ continues to be used. As a consequence, legal substances and common strategies for both legal and illegal substances have to be taken into account in the annual reports of the German Reference Centre for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction DBDD. In many cases, it is no longer possible to set the two categories apart due to technical and political developments. Nevertheless, in line with the guidelines given for the topic of this report, exclusively illicit substances will be taken into consideration, where possible. Non-substance-related addiction is currently of no relevance for this report."


German Reference Centre for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (Deutsche Beobachtungsstelle fuer Drogen und Drogensucht (DBDD)), "2012 National Report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: Germany: New Developments, Trends and In-Depth Information on Selected Issues - Drug Situation 2011/2012" (Munich, Germany: DBDD, Oct. 2012), p. 1.……