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National Strategy on Drug and Addiction Policy

The National Strategy on Drug and Addiction Policy was adopted by the Federal Government. It takes an integrated approach to addiction policy and consists of four pillars: prevention, counselling & treatment, harm reduction as well as supply reduction & law enforcement.


Preventive measures are intended to provide information about the dangers of drug or addictive substance use so as to counteract harmful use or addiction before it can develop in the first place. Prevention is particularly important for children and adolescents. The earlier children and adolescents are reached by prevention and health promotion measures, the higher the chance to prevent them from developing patterns of problematic use.

Examples of prevention programmes are available from the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA).

Counselling and treatment, assistance coming off drugs

Counselling and treatment offers are vital to help those addicted to drugs to break the circle of their addiction. A large variety of out-patient and in-patient services are already available in Germany. These services have to be sustained and strengthened so that every addict can benefit from the type of counselling and treatment service that is right for them.

One such counselling service is the Sucht & Drogen Hotline (hotline drugs & addiction), which provides telephone counselling, support and information by skilled professionals from the field of addict support.

Harm reduction schemes

Survival support or harm reduction measures, such as drug consumption rooms with needle exchange programmes, stabilise the health and social situation of those living with addiction. This is an important precondition for overcoming addiction at a later stage.

The website drogenkonsumraum.net, for instance, provides an overview on where to find drug consumption rooms in Germany as well as further information on the topic, and the Quit the Shit initiative by the Federal Centre for Health Education aims at helping people to reduce or, if possible, completely quit their cannabis use.

Supply reduction and law enforcement

Another element of drug and addiction policy are legal supply reduction regulations and general prohibitions. These include, for instance, non-smoker protection laws, the Youth Protection Act and the legislation on narcotic drugs. An issue that is also of high international importance is the fight against drug-related crime.

The National Situation Reports on Drug-Related Crime (Bundeslagebilder Rauschgiftkriminalität) provide up-to-date information about the situation in this area.

The complete National Strategy on Drug and Addiction Policy is available here:

Drug Commissioner of the Federal Government, Germany (2012) National Strategy on Drug and Addiction Policy; PDF, 464 kB