João Matias

Scientific analyst on drug use , European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

Lisbon, Portugal


Epidemiologist, graduated from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). In 2004 he joined the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction at the Public Health Unit as a scientific analyst, responsible for the epidemiological indicator "Prevalence and patterns of drug use", addressing topics such as drug use in nightlife settings, wastewater analysis, drug checking. He also worked at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna as a drug market analyst.

Recent European drug trends: the importance of a comprehensive approach

Drug availability and use remain at high levels across the European Union, although considerable differences exist between countries. Cannabis remains the most widely consumed substance, while stimulants are the second most commonly reported category. More complexity in drug consumption patterns, with medicinal products, non-controlled new psychoactive substances and substances such as ketamine and GBL/GHB are now increasingly associated with drug problems in some countries or among some groups. Underlying the drug problem we see in Europe is the continuing innovation in the drug market, which has led to the overall high availability of an increasing number of different substances, often of high potency or purity. Reducing both the importation of drugs into the European

Union and production within the European Union remain therefore key policy challenges.