Improving knowledge on drug addiction
Launching of a new website

Rome, 4 February 2010. The new web portal was launched today during a press conference led by the Italian Undersecretary of the Council of Ministers with the Anti-Drug Policy portfolio, Mr. Carlo Giovanardi.

Among the participants to the event, there were also Mr. Giovanni Serpelloni Chief of the Italian Anti- Drug Policy Department and responsible for the portal; Mr. Pietro Canuzzi, Officer of the Health Care Department of the Ministry of Health; and Ms. Alessandra Liquori O'Neil, UNICRI’s Project Manager.

The Drog@news website is the latest information portal on narcotics and drug addiction and was jointly created by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the Italian Anti-Drug Policy Department and the Italian Ministry of Health.

The objectives and the significant characteristics of this new portal include the immediacy of its communications, constant news updates and guaranteed sources of information.
Drog@news represents the creation of an instrument made by experts of this field and intended for people involved in the sector, transmitting trends, guidelines and directions of health policy, along with some of the most recent and credited scientific updates from the national and international community.

Furthermore, through the pages dedicated to “Letters to the Director” and “Inputs and Articles,” the portal gives users the possibility to get directly in touch with experts and institutions, and to exchange stories, experiences and updates.

The portal’s editorial board is directed by Mr. Giovanni Serpelloni, who deals on a daily basis with research, selection and editing of the news items sorted according to their content into different theme areas, ranging from pharmacology to neuroscience, from prevention to epidemiology. Moreover, the website offers in-depth analyses on a variety of issues, such as control over drug trafficking and dealing, scheduled congresses on the matter, epidemiological reports, the most recent publications and a space dedicated to active alerts on the new substances that enter the illegal market.

The accuracy of the information and the identification of useful news items for the updates are provided by a Scientific Committee composed of professionals and researchers.

The project is completed and enhanced by the publication of the online “News Bulletin on Drug Addiction” (a quarterly factsheet jointly instituted in 1991 by UNICRI and the Italian Ministry of Health) and by the Drog@news Newsletter, a complete collection of all the articles published on the portal on a monthly basis.

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