Drug harms in Czech Republic 2017

Czech Republic Country Drug Report 2017

Drug harms

Drug-related infectious diseases

In the Czech Republic, data on drug-related infections are available from national registers and studies involving different drug user groups. These data indicate that the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) /acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among drug users has remained stable in recent years.

The number of newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals among the general population is relatively low and has remained stable. HIV seroprevalence rates among people who inject drugs (PWID) also remain low.

The number of newly reported cases of acute HBV infection continues to decline. This is attributed to the routine vaccination programme introduced in 2001.

In the Czech Republic, approximately two thirds of newly reported cases of HCV infection in which the transmission route is known occur in PWID. The latest available selfreported data from the Register of Treatment Demands (from 2014) suggest that less than half of PWID who are in contact with the treatment system are known to be HCV positive, and there is some indication that the numbers have stabilised in recent years.

The prevalence rates of HIV, HCV and HBV infection, in general, are higher among clients of opioid substitution treatment (OST) programmes and prison inmates.

Newly diagnosed HIV cases attributed to injecting drug use

NB Year of data 2015, or latest available year. Source: ECDC.

Prevalence of HIV and HCV antibodies among people who inject drugs in the Czech Republic

NB Year of data HIV 2014/2015, HCV 2014.

Drug-related emergencies

Information on drug-related emergencies in the Czech Republic originates from a special warning system at the Public Health Service and from the National Hospitalisation Register, which reports data on acute hospitalisations requiring at least 24 hours of care. The data from the Public Health Service indicate that there has been a slight increase in non-fatal drug intoxication since 2011. In 2015, a total of 1 205 non-fatal intoxications were reported. Methamphetamine and benzodiazepines were the drugs most frequently reported as a cause of nonfatal intoxications, followed by cannabis, whereas heroinrelated intoxications have fallen by 80 % since 2005. At the same time, the National Hospitalisation Register shows a long-term decline in acute hospitalisations due to drug intoxications. Regional differences in data collection methods and possible flaws in the coding of substances mean that national estimates of drug-related emergencies must be treated with caution.

Characteristics of and trends in drug-induced deaths in the Czech Republic

NB Year of data 2015.

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

Drug-induced deaths are deaths that can be attributed directly to the use of illicit drugs (i.e. poisonings and overdoses).

In the Czech Republic, this information is collected from the special mortality and the general mortality registers and it indicates an increasing trend in reported drug-induced deaths. However, this increase may partly reflect improved reporting procedures in recent years.

According to the toxicological results, opioids (heroin, methadone and buprenorphine), alone or in combination with other psychoactive substances, are the most frequently recorded principal drug involved in druginduced deaths, with some substantial increases in 2015. Stimulants, primarily methamphetamine, are linked to approximately one third of drug-induced deaths. The majority of the victims are males in their early thirties, whereas the mean age of female victims tends to be slightly higher.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults aged 15-64 years was 5.5 deaths per million in 2015, which is below the European average of 20.3 deaths per million.

Drug-induced mortality rates among adults (15-64 years)

NB Year of data 2015, or latest available year.

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