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Roman-Urrestarazu et al make a valuable point about the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. The health of British people benefits from a number of European collaborations, including the EMCDDA. Britain is a major target for smuggling illicit drugs and its financial services are used for laundering gangsters’ dirty money. The patterns of drug use and their related hazards vary over time, so monitoring drug developments over a wide “horizon” helps Public Health to anticipate coming problems. Before the EMCDDA we tried frantically to foresee drug use, just in London , without knowing what was happening across the North Sea.
This September, Cambridge hosted an illuminating TransNational Organised Crime conference, including key Europol input. My interest was in drug dealing  but BMJ readers with no professional interest in addiction may still be interested in a lesson from the TNOC conference. The personnel and networks involved in drug smuggling and distribution are also involved in many other businesses (like transporting slaves or arms) that harm a, wider, Public Health.
 Caan W. Deeply designed drugs. European Journal of Neuroscience 1991; Supplement 4: 322.
 Caan W. Trade and health: dealing in death. Lancet 2009; 373: 894-895.
Have been involved in a number of trans-national collaborations, such as the Vatican conference 'Contra Spem in Spem: drugs and alcoholism against life'.