Maltese MEP Simon Busuttil has urged the EU "to do more" to cut the impact of social and health problems caused by drug use.
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, the EPP member said the EU "should make full use" of agencies like Europol to counter drug production and adopt a "more coherent" approach to tackling the problem.
His comments come as the EU prepares its new anti-drugs action plan for an eight-year period after 2015.
"I believe the new action plan and future EU drugs strategy should create a 'multi-disciplinary' approach to addictions," he told a news conference.
"It will be necessary to strengthen cooperation with member states and regional authorities and it is crucial to review the present EU policy."
Busuttil was speaking ahead of a conference in parliament on Wednesday which aims to discuss ways of finding a more "uniform and assertive" EU-wide approach to tackling drug addiction.
The hearing, which will form the basis of the EPP contribution to the new anti-drugs policy, was told that the number of people in the EU who use drugs is estimated at 75.5 million for cannabis (22.5 per cent of adults), at least 14 million for cocaine (4.1 per cent of adults), 11 million for ecstasy (3.3 per cent) and 12 million for amphetamines (3.7 per cent) while at least half a million people are known to be receiving substitution treatment for drugs like heroin.
The current EU drugs strategy covers a period of eight years from 2005-12 and includes 80 separate proposals.
Busuttil said, "I am calling for a global approach focusing on prevention, treatment, harm reduction and cooperation between law-enforcement.
"We should make full use of the capacities of Europol, Eurojust and other EU structures. We need more prevention and information for an anti-addiction strategy for 2013-20 in order to protect families and young people."
8th December 2010
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