Bulgaria country overview

Bulgaria country overview

Map of Bulgaria

About NFP: 

The national focal point (NFP) is based in the National Centre for Addictions. The unit carries out informational, analytical, scientific research, expert-consultative and publishing activities. The main objectives of NFP activities include methodological control, collection, evaluation and classification, processing, storage, analysis and dissemination of information in the field of drug demand and supply in Bulgaria, drug policy and the response to the situation in that field. The NFP works on the provision of information, supporting the activity of the National Drug Council and the formulation of a state policy towards drugs and drug addiction.

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Last updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Drug use among the general population and young people

Content for prevalence: 

A fourth national representative survey of the general population was carried out in Bulgaria in 2012 with a sample of 5 325 people aged 15–64 on their use of and attitudes towards different psychoactive substances (the previous surveys were in 2005, 2007 and 2008). The data indicated that cannabis was the most frequently used substance, with last year prevalence at 3.5 % and last month prevalence at 2.0 %. When compared to the previous studies, a steady and significant increase in last year and last month prevalence of cannabis use was reported among the general population. Cannabis also remained the most frequently used illicit substance among young adults aged 15–34. Last year and last month prevalence also increased among this age group when compared to previous years: in 2012 a total of 8.3 % reported they had used cannabis at least once in the last 12 months, while the rate was 6.0 % in 2008, and 4.4 % in 2007. For the same age group, last month prevalence of cannabis use was 4.8 % in 2012, an increase from 1.4 % in 2008 and 1.2 % in 2007. Ecstasy was the second most prevalent substance, and the studies show an increase in its use since 2007, in particular among younger adults. Prevalence of amphetamines, cocaine and heroin use has remained low among the general population, and the latest survey confirmed a declining trend in the reported use of these substances since 2005.

In 2011 the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) was conducted among 15- to 16-year-old students for the fourth time, with a sample size of 2 217. The reported lifetime prevalence of cannabis use was 24 %, compared to 22 % in 2007 and 21 % in 2003. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 18 %, and last month prevalence was 10 %, which is slightly higher than was reported in 2007 (17 % and 7 % respectively). Lifetime prevalence of amphetamines use was 7 % in 2011, while for inhalants, ecstasy and cocaine it was 4 %. In 2007 lifetime prevalence rates were higher among males than females for all substances. The 2011 study found that males reported ever having used cannabis, ecstasy or LSD more frequently than females, whilst the rates for heroin and cocaine use were similar for males and females; however, lifetime prevalence of amphetamines and inhalant use was higher among females. It should be noted that the lifetime prevalence of cannabis use decreased from 27 % in 2007 to 25 % in 2011 among males, while it increased from 18 % to 22 % among females over the same period. Last year and last month prevalence rates for cannabis use were similar for both genders in the 2011 study. In 2013 the national focal point implemented a national representative survey with a sample of 3 001 high school students in classes 9 to 12. The results largely corroborate the findings of the ESPAD study, indicating that cannabis is the most popular illicit substance used by the students, followed by stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy).

Studies of drug use among a representative sample of students from different universities across the country were conducted in 2006, 2010 and 2014, and indicate relatively stable cannabis consumption among young adults. Males more frequently than females indicated cannabis use in the past, and there is a tendency for this gender gap to widen in the older age groups. The 2013 study among high school students and the 2014 study among university students also explored the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) among young people. The study among high school students indicated that about 4.9 % pupils aged 15–18 had ever used NPS, while among university students the lifetime prevalence of any NPS use was 2 %.

Look for Prevalence of drug use in the 'Statistical bulletin' for more information 


Content for prevention: 

The main objectives and features of Bulgaria’s prevention policy are: the expansion of systematic health education in the field of secondary education; the development and implementation of programmes targeting children and youth; the establishment and training of multidisciplinary teams; the organising and conducting of media campaigns for combating drugs and drug addiction; the expansion of sport and tourism programmes for children and young people; the development and implementation of programmes for high-risk groups and activities to integrate them into the community. National and municipal authorities share responsibility for the planning and implementation of prevention activities.

Universal prevention predominates, while selective and indicative prevention activities are becoming increasingly popular. Universal prevention is mainly implemented through the education system and coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES). The principal objectives of school-based prevention are to provide information and to create a protective school environment. Most of the health educational programmes implemented in schools combine life skills and peer education; however, some programmes targeting parents are also available. Standardised school-based prevention protocols are scarce, and available programmes are usually designed or adapted for implementation at the local level. Although universal substance abuse prevention activities focusing on the family remain rare, families are increasingly involved in general prevention activities. In communities, municipal youth information and counselling centres implement health promotion projects targeting young people. These activities mainly promote the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.

Selective prevention is mostly targeted at at-risk children and families, and is often based on information provision, while a peer-to-peer education model is also used. Groups identified for prevention activities include young people and children with special educational needs, as well as those of Roma, Bulgarian and Turkish origin from disadvantaged communities. Bulgaria was the fourteenth European Union Member State to introduce the pan-European telephone number for children at risk in 2009, although it is known more as a source of informational and emotional support on broader issues affecting the rights of children. Less than 1 % of calls responded to annually are linked to drug-related issues. The National Centre for Addictions also operates a free-of-charge helpline on addiction issues.

Indicated prevention is limited to training health, social and educational professionals on how to screen and implement early and short interventions. In 2012 a day centre for counselling children, youth and parents on addiction problems was opened in Sofia. The national focal point maintains a register of the prevention activities and performs a general overview of the prevention status. Progress has recently been made in ensuring the quality of prevention activities and developing standards for projects to be funded. In 2014 a joint ordinance by the Ministry of Health and the MES was adopted and set out conditions and procedures for the implementation of prevention programmes in compliance with the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards.

See the Prevention profile for Bulgaria for more information. 

Problem drug use

Content for problem drug use: 

Up to 2012 the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) defined problem drug use as injecting drug use or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines. However, in 2012 a new definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adopted. The new definition includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

Based on data from the 2012 general population survey, it is estimated, that about 0.2 % of 15- to 64-year-olds in Bulgaria had used cannabis daily or almost daily within the last 30 days. No other estimates for an individual substance are available.

The available national estimate of problem drug use dates back to 2009 using the capture–recapture method with data-sets from the police, emergency medical care and specialised addiction treatment facilities. The estimate indicated that there were 31 316 problem drug users in Bulgaria (range: 23 050–42 920), which is about 6.0 per 1 000 people aged 15–64 (95 % CI: 4.4–8.2).

Look for High risk drug-use in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Treatment demand

Content for treatment demand: 

Treatment demand data are collected through the National Monitoring System for Drug-Related Treatment Demand. Treatment demand data for 2014 were based on data from 35 outpatient units, 27 inpatient treatment units, and 13 treatment units in prisons. A total of 2 131 clients entered treatment, of which 560 were new clients entering treatment for the first time.

Similar to previous years, in 2014 opioids, mainly heroin and mostly used by injection, were the most-reported primary drugs by all treatment clients (1 530 clients). However, an increase was reported in the number of clients misusing methadone and entering treatment in Bulgaria. Among new treatment clients, 207 stated opioids, mainly heroin, as the main drug of use.

In 2014 the mean age of all treatment clients was 31 years, while for new treatment clients it remained at 29 years on average. In 2014 males comprised 80 % of all clients admitted to treatment, while among new treatment clients 77 % were male and 23 % female.

Look for Treatment demand indicator in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Drug-related infectious diseases

Content for drug-related infectious diseases: 

Until 2004 only sporadic cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) linked to injecting drug use were notified in Bulgaria. Since 2004, however, there has been a steady increase in new HIV cases linked to injecting drug use, from seven cases in 2004 to 74 cases in 2009, with a reduction in the following years. In 2014 the Ministry of Health reported 231 new HIV positive cases, which is the highest number of newly registered cases annually in the history of the epidemic, of which 46 were linked to injecting drug use.

Data on the prevalence of drug-related infectious diseases among current injecting drug users are reported by the Laboratory of the Blood Transmitted Infections Department at the National Centre for Addictions (NCA) in Sofia. The data refer to NCA patients and clients of outreach programmes in Sofia. Additional information is gathered from testing clients who enter drug treatment programmes (opioid substitution treatment and rehabilitation) in the regional treatment centres of Blagoevgrad, Bourgas, Pazardjik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Sofia and Varna.

In 2014 the prevalence of HIV was 3.8 % of drug treatment clients who inject drugs in a sample of 661 people in Sofia. The prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (positive HBsAg) was 6 % in a sample of 634 drug treatment clients. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was 66.7 % in a sample of 658 treatment clients.

Look for Drug-related infectious diseases in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

Content for drug-induced deaths: 

Data on drug-induced deaths are collected by the General Mortality Registry (GMR) at the National Institute of Statistics. Data extraction and reporting is in line with the EMCDDA definitions for ‘Selection B’, although there is little clarity about the use of T-codes in GMR coding practices. This might lead to an underestimation due to some cases not being extracted and reported as drug-induced deaths.

The overall number of direct drug-induced deaths in Bulgaria is low. There was a significant increase in 2008, when 74 deaths were registered, though this was followed by a decline to 15 in 2014. All but one death in 2014 were males. The mean age at the time of death was 34 years among males.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15–64) was 3.1 deaths per million in 2014, below the European average of 19.2 deaths per million.

Look for Drug-related deaths in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Treatment responses

Content for treatment responses: 

The National Centre for Addictions (NCA) is the main body entrusted with organising and ensuring the quality of substance abuse treatment, which is done through methodological guidance and training professionals. The NCA compiles a number of registers that document available treatment options, so that coordination of the different treatment programmes can also be improved.

Drug-related treatment is mainly delivered by a combination of public and private institutions and in outpatient and inpatient settings. As a general rule, clients do not pay for treatment received in public institutions, while in private establishments clients pay for the services they receive. Medically assisted treatment available in Bulgaria includes inpatient and outpatient detoxification and opioid substitution treatment (OST), and non-residential and residential psychosocial rehabilitation programmes such as therapeutic communities or day-care centres, etc. The outpatient network includes 39 specialised centres for addiction and seven units in mental health centres or at psychiatric offices, while inpatient drug treatment is provided by 30 hospital-based residential drug treatment units, three therapeutic communities, 13 treatment units in prisons and two specialised hospitals for prisoners.

Drug treatment is mainly focused on opioid users, and the most common form of drug-related treatment in Bulgaria remains OST with methadone, which was officially introduced in 1995. Slow-release morphine (Substitol) was also introduced as a recognised substitution drug in 2006. In 2012 several new regulations were adopted that set out the terms and conditions for the provision of treatment with opioid agonists and antagonists. Buprenorphine, registered in the country in 2008, was finally included in the list of substances for substitution treatment. In 2014 there were 30 specialised units delivering OST in 14 cities and towns. A total of 3 414 clients were undergoing OST, 3 277 of whom were on methadone and 137 on Substitol. Just over a third of clients on methadone maintenance treatment were treated through Ministry of Health or municipally funded programmes. Treatment of the remaining two-thirds of clients, and treatment with buprenorphine-based OST, was provided against a monthly co-payment fee paid by clients. Although the evaluation of substitution treatment in 2009 showed that it had contributed toward improvements in the physical and mental well-being of the clients and a reduction in their criminal behaviour, drop-out rates remained one of the main concerns. Methadone maintenance is continued if a client is imprisoned. In 2014 a total of 77 prisoners received opioid substitution treatment.

See the Treatment profile for Bulgaria for additional information. 

Harm reduction responses

Content for harm reduction responses: 

The prevention of overdoses and drug-related infectious diseases in Bulgaria is implemented in accordance with the National Anti-Drug Strategy; the National Programme of Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases; the Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act; the HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Programme financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the project funds run  until end 2015); and the Regulation issued by the Minister of Health on the terms and conditions for implementing harm reduction programmes, which was adopted in 2011.

In 2014 services to prevent drug-related infectious diseases were provided through needle exchange at 171 fixed sites located in 36 towns, mainly by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In addition to targeting people who inject drugs, these NGOs also target other risk groups, such as drug users of Roma origin and sex workers. The NGOs have found it difficult to reach high-risk drug users of Bulgarian origin. According to the Regulation, the harm reduction services provide information materials on safe injecting, overdose and infectious diseases, and testing for blood-borne infections in addition to supplying sterile injecting equipment. Services are provided through outreach work, mobile medical consulting rooms and at drop-in centres. The increasing proportion of stimulant injectors among clients at low-threshold facilities is placing new demands on harm reduction staff, some of whom lack experience in this area. In 2008 an internet-based system was set up for all agencies providing injecting equipment, which improved data reliability and consistency. In 2014 an estimated 418 000 syringes were distributed through specialised agencies and outreach programmes. Syringes are also sold at pharmacies, but there are no pharmacy-based programmes providing sterile needles and syringes to people who inject drugs (PWID).

Ten NGOs, the National Centre for Addictions and 19 medical services in the bigger towns provide anonymous counselling and testing for HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). People living with HIV and AIDS are treated in five specialised wards established in clinics for infectious diseases. The Government has not implemented specific vaccination campaigns against HBV among drug users since 2000, regardless of the fact that the Action Plan of the National Strategy to Combat Drug Addiction identifies this as one of the subtasks necessary to lower the prevalence of infectious diseases among PWID. It should be noted that in 1993 vaccination against HBV became mandatory in Bulgaria for all newborn infants.

See the Harm reduction overview for Bulgaria for additional information. 

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Content for Drug markets and drug-law offences: 

Bulgaria is mainly considered to be a transit country for all illicit substances, with trafficking activity shaped by supply and demand in western European and Middle Eastern countries. However, some production of synthetic stimulants is consistently reported.

Data on the quantity of drugs seized in Bulgaria are provided by the Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime (CDCOC), the Chief Directorate for Counteraction of Criminality, Public Order Preservation and Prevention (National Police Service) at the Ministry of the Interior, and by the National Customs Agency and Border Police.

The Balkan route, used for trafficking heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan to western Europe, passes through Bulgaria and law enforcement data indicate that heroin is also stored and repackaged in the country. In recent years some criminal groups have also attempted to use the route for cocaine smuggling to central and western Europe. Bulgaria remains a production site of amphetamine and methamphetamine, and has emerged as a producer of some new psychoactive substances. In 2014 a total of 15 clandestine laboratories producing synthetic drugs were detected in the country, which is less than in 2013, when 35 such laboratories were dismantled.

The number of all cannabis product seizures increased in 2014, while the amounts seized increased for all products but cannabis resin. Thus, after a record amount of 15 967 kg of cannabis resin was seized in 2012, the amounts seized in 2013 and 2014 were significantly lower (only 5.25 kg and 2.36 kg respectively). Meanwhile, the quantity of herbal cannabis seized in 2014 almost tripled in comparison with 2013, and reached 1 674.08 kg. The seized quantity of cannabis plants, which are increasingly cultivated domestically, continued the rising trend observed over the past 10 years, with a new record of 21 516 plants reported in 2014. It is assumed that cannabis is cultivated in all regions of Bulgaria; 66 indoor cannabis-growing sites and 351 decares of outdoor cannabis-growing sites were dismantled in 2014.

In 2014 a total of 940.49 kg of heroin was seized, indicating an end to the downward trend observed since 2008. In 2014 a total of 182.67 kg and 465 tablets of amphetamine and 32.56 kg of methamphetamine were seized, which remains at the levels reported in 2013. A total of 26.87 kg of cocaine was seized in 2014, which is slightly more than in 2013, but less than the record amount seized in 2012 (115.20 kg). With regard to ecstasy, the quantity seized (16 845 tablets in 2014) was the second largest in the last 10 years, indicating a possible return of the substance to the market. An increasing number of seizures containing NPS, such as synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, were observed.

In 2014 Bulgaria recorded 9 340 individuals committing drug-law offences. Some 63.4 % of offences were cannabis-related, followed by 26 % stimulants-related (amphetamine and MDMA) and 8.5 % heroin-related offences.

Look for Drug law offences in the Statistical bulletin for additional data. 

National drug laws

Content for National drug laws: 

The Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act (NSPCA) was approved on 2 April 1999. Further amendments passed in 2010 harmonised the NSPCA with other national legal Acts, and clarified drug coordination mechanisms at the national and regional levels, the roles of different entities involved in drug-related activities, and the establishment of the national focal point, and added several new controlled substances and plants.

In 2004 the Penal Code was amended to remove the clause that exonerated drug users found in possession of a drug in a quantity that suggested that it was for personal use. An amendment adopted in 2006 reduced sanctions for drug possession, and also took into account the differentiation between high-risk and moderate-risk substances. Drug use itself is penalised as an administrative offence for high-risk drugs (List 1) and a fine can be imposed of between BGN 2 000–5 000. Minor cases of possession prosecuted under the Penal Code can be settled with a fine of up to BGN 1 000; otherwise, possession of any drug is punished by one to six years’ imprisonment for high-risk substances and up to five years for moderate-risk substances.

Trafficking carries penalties of imprisonment of between two and eight years for high-risk substances and one to six years for moderate-risk substances, but particularly large amounts or other aggravating circumstances can result in prison sentences of up to 15 years.

Go to the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) for additional information. 

National drug strategy

Content for National drug strategy: 

Bulgaria’s third National Anti-Drug Strategy (2014–18), its Action Plan and associated Financial Plan were adopted by the Council of Ministers through Decision No. 526 of 18 July 2014. The strategy is built around the two pillars of drug demand and drug supply reduction, and three joint activity areas. The strategy’s main demand reduction goals are: to improve public health and the health and social functioning of individuals; to protect society from drug markets; and to reduce demand for illicit drugs. In the area of supply reduction the goals are: to reduce the supply of illicit drugs and precursors; to increase the efficiency of law enforcement and supervisory authorities; to enhance preventive actions against drug-related crimes; and to ensure effective cooperation within a joint and coordinated approach.

Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

Content for Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs: 

Established in 2001 by the Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act of 1999, the National Drugs Council is a body of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. Operating at the inter-ministerial level, it is responsible for the implementation and coordination of policy against drug abuse and drug trafficking. Chaired by the Minister of Health, the National Drugs Council includes three deputy chairpersons (the Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior, the Deputy Chairperson of the State Agency for National Security and a Deputy Minister of Justice), a secretary and 24 members. Key ministries involved in the fight against drugs are represented on the National Drugs Council, including the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation, the National Investigation Office and other institutions.

The Narcotic Substances Section is part of the Pharmaceutical Products, Medical Devices and Narcotic Substances Directorate at the Ministry of Health. It is responsible for assisting the Minister to control scheduled substances for medical purposes and meet Bulgaria’s obligations under international drug-control treaties.

By the end of 2011 the Council had established 27 Municipal Councils on Narcotic Substances. These bodies function as regional/local coordination structures in municipalities that are regional administrative centres. The Municipal Councils are complemented by 27 prevention and information centres that operate at the city/local level. The centres collect, analyse and provide information for the coordination and implementation of programmes and strategies at the municipal level.

Public expenditure

Content for Public expenditure: 

In past years the financing of drug-related activities in Bulgaria was decided annually by those entities in charge of their implementation. However, more recently, according to the National Drug Strategy for 2009–2013, the National Programme has been one of the main guides for the planning of public financing for drug-related initiatives. Therefore, estimates for drug-related public expenditure have begun to being reported. However, it is not possible to assess what proportion of the total effectively spent is represented by estimates.

Some preliminary estimates show that in 2013 a total of BGN 7 248 700.30 was allocated for labelled drug-related expenditure, which represented about 0.02% of the gross domestic product.

Drug-related research

Content for Drug-related research: 

Most drug-related research in Bulgaria focuses on the prevalence and characteristics of drug use among the general population and among other categories of the population (including those in school, university and prison settings), and on the health and legal consequences of drug use. Most of the studies have been carried out by or with the active participation of the national focal point.

Other recent studies include research on the consequences of drug use and drug markets.

See Drug-related research for more detailed information. 

Data sheet — key statistics on the drug situation

Content for Data sheet: 

        EU range      
  Year   Country data Min. Max.      
Problem opioid use (rate/1 000) :   : 0.2 10.7      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   84.8% 4% 90%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   64.5% 2% 89%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2014   26.8% 7% 52%      
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2014   EUR 28 EUR 23 EUR 140      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   4.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   0.3% 0% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.2% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   1.6% 0% 38%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   6.5% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2014   35.8% 20% 64%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2014   EUR 58 EUR 47 EUR 107      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   7.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   1.3% 0% 3%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.6% 0% 1%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   4.7% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   15.9% 0% 75%      
Purity (%) 2014   10.3% 1% 49%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2014   EUR 10 EUR 3 EUR 63      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   4.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   2.9% 0% 6%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   1.2% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.2% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.6% 0% 2%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) 2011   29 mg 27 mg 131 mg      
Price per tablet (EUR) 2014   EUR 7 EUR 4 EUR 16      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   24.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   8.3% 0% 24%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   3.5% 0% 11%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   3.2% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   8.4% 7% 77%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2014   13.1% 3% 15%      
Potency — resin (%) 2014   18.9% 3% 29%      
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2014   EUR 7 EUR 3 EUR 23      
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2014   EUR 20 EUR 3 EUR 22      
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) 2009   6.01 2.7 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (cases / million) 2014   6.3 0.0 50.9      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 31%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 15% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2014   3.1 2.4 113.2      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2014   417 677 382 7 199 660      
Clients in substitution treatment 2014   3 414 178 161 388      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2014   2 131 271 100 456      
New clients 2014   560 28 35 007      
All clients with known primary drug 2014   1 804 271 97 068      
New clients with known primary drug 2014   321 28 34 088      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2014 1 9 340 537 282 177      
Offences for use/possession 2014   5 249 13 398 422      

Key national figures and statistics

Content for Key national figures and statistics: 

b Break in time series.

e Estimated.

p Eurostat provisional value.

: Not available.

1 Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economic activity. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. The volume index of GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) is expressed in relation to the European Union (EU-27) average set to equal 100. If the index of a country is higher than 100, this country's level of GDP per head is higher than the EU average and vice versa.

2  Expenditure on social protection contains: benefits, which consist of transfers in cash or in kind to households and individuals to relieve them of the burden of a defined set of risks or needs.

3 Unemployment rates represent unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. Unemployed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 74 who were: (a) without work during the reference week; (b) currently available for work; (c) actively seeking work.

4 Situation of penal institutions on 1 September, 2014.

5 Share of persons aged 0+ with an equivalent disposable income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

  Year  Bulgaria EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 7 245 677 506 944 075 bep Eurostat
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 10.4 % 11.3 % bep Eurostat
25–49 35.2 % 34.7 % bep
50–64 21.1 % 19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2014 47 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2013 17.6 % : Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2015 9.2 % 9.4 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2015 21.6 % 20.3 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2014 108.6  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2014.1
At risk of poverty rate 5  2014 21.8 % 17.2 %  SILC

Contact information for our focal point

Address and contact: 

National Centre for Addictions

117, Pirotska Str.
BG-1303 Sofia
Tel. +359 28313079
Fax +359 28321047

Head of national focal point: Mr Momtchil Vassilev

E-mail addresses have been inserted in a way discouraging spam. Please replace [a] by @ before actually using any of the e-mail addresses