Institutional responses to drug demand in Central Europe

An analysis of institutional developments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia


Kenis, P., Sobiech, R.


Kenis, P., Maas, F., Sobiech, R.




Kenis, P., Maas, F. & Sobiech, R. (Eds.) (2001). Institutional Responses to Drug Demand in Central Europe. An Analysis of Institutional Developments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia, Public Policy and Social Welfare 27. Farnham (UK): Ashgate.


Understanding the crucial link between institutional contexts and drug problems is germane to the process of developing appropriate drug policies and drug demand reduction strategies. However, this link is too often taken for granted. Still most drug-related research has relied primarily on epidemiological, bio-medical or clinical approaches, ignoring the social contexts in which drug use finds its causes and where its consequences are most visible and hardest felt. No countries than the states of Central and Eastern Europe demonstrate better that the drug problem is a social problem and that its causes emerge from a broad array of social factors. The social perspective is considered essential for the development of effective drug policies and demand reduction strategies.

This publication analyses in both a country-oriented and comparative manner the main features of institutional settings towards the drug problem. Research carried out in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia has shown that changed policy perceptions and attitudes towards drugs and related problems have had a considerable impact on the tasks, which different institutions had to confront. The establishment of new organisations, particularly of a non-governmental nature, as well as the growing importance of networks reflect the changed institutional environment, needed to effectively counteract drug-related problems. It might still be too early to evaluate whether these changes have had a positive effect on the drug situation in these countries. However, the research results demonstrate undoubtedly the need to continue to place the social contexts in which drug use takes place at the heart of research. Without this, it will be impossible to develop effective institutional responses towards one of the most important problems we presently are confronted with.


  • Drug Demand Reduction in Central European Countries: Analysing the Institutional and Organizational Responses by Patrick Kenis
  • The Drug Problem in the Czech Republic. In Search of an Institutional Structure by Ladislav Csèmy / Frantisek David Krch
  • Drug Demand Reduction in Hungary. The Two Worlds of Prevalence and Perception by Zsuzsanna Elekes / Tünde Györy
  • Institutional Responses to Drug Problems in Poland. On the Crossroad by Robert Sobiech / Joanna Zamecka
  • The Institutional Response to Drug-Related Problems in Slovenia. Balancing between Harm Reduction and Abstinence Approaches by Bojan Dekleva / Renata Cvelbar Bek
  • What Are the Interrelationships between Drug Problems and Drug Policy? Lessons from the Analyses of the Institutional Context by Ladislav Csémy / Zsuzsanna Elekes
  • The Perception of the Drug Problem and Opinions on National Policies. Can We Think beyond Borders? by Tünde Györy / Robert Sobiech
  • The Division of Labour between NGOs and Governmental Organizations by Renata Cvelbar / Frantisek David Krch
  • Are the Differences in Attitudes Towards Drugs Related to Different Demand Reduction Structures and Services? by Bojan Dekleva / Joanna Zamecka
  • Networks in Drug Demand Reduction Policy and Practice by Patrick Kenis / Stefan Loos


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