Since the adoption of the first European Drug Strategy 2000–2004, the EU clearly defines drug-related problems as primarily being a Public Health issue. This approach was also endorsed recently by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) countries through the OAS Hemispheric drug strategy 2011–15. In both cases, DDR policies are considered essential to develop a balanced approach in the field of drug policy. The implementation of such a balance is still a challenge for the CELAC region.
COPOLAD brings a unique opportunity to support the CELAC region in the practical implementation of models and principles which are well established in the EU for more than three decades now, in countries that had to face huge challenges and have a good record of successes.
Cooperation, coordination and promotion of synergies will continue with actions in DDR developed by the EMCDDA, the CICAD, the PAHO (Pan-American Health Organisation, World Health Organisation (WHO) office for the Americas), the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and bi-regional networks of NGOs: RIOD and IDPC. Also, and as started during the first phase, the coordination with other EU funded DDR programmes will be maintained.