Drug harms in Hungary 2017

Hungary Country Drug Report 2017

Drug harms

Drug-related infectious diseases

In Hungary, data on drug-related infectious diseases are available from the National Registry of Infected Patients and the special human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and hepatitis surveillance database, which is complemented by the nationwide prevalence surveys on infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (PWID), which have been carried out annually since 2006.

The number of new HIV cases reported annually in Hungary has increased since 2011, but only a few cases are linked to injecting drug use. The number of registered acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections due to injecting drug use increased notably between 2006 and 2013.

The prevalence of drug-related infections among PWID in Hungary was stable until 2011, with only HCV and hepatitis B virus infections detected, mainly among opioid injectors. However, since 2011, the HCV infection rates among PWID have almost doubled. The most recent study indicated that 8 out of 10 PWID reporting recent injection of NPS were HCV positive. In 2015, an HIV-positive individual was identified in the prevalence survey carried out among PWID. The increase in HCV prevalence is explained by new patterns of injecting drug use; in particular, NPS are injected more frequently and, as a result, sharing and reusing injecting equipment has become more common.

Newly diagnosed HIV cases attributed to injecting drug use

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

Prevalence of HIV and HCV antibodies among people who inject drugs in Hungary

NBYear of data 2015.


Characteristics of and trends in drug-induced deaths in Hungary

NBYear 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).

Overall, Hungary has reported between 20 and 30 drug- induced deaths annually for the past 10 years. The fluctuation in the number of deaths reported before 2010 was attributed to the purity of heroin. Availability of heroin fell significantly after 2010 and, as a result, other opioids started to dominate in drug-related death data. In 2015, according to the toxicological results, opioids were involved in approximately half of all deaths and were always found in combination with other psychoactive substances. In the remaining cases, stimulants, including NPS, were detected. Currently, toxicological examination of victims of drug-related deaths in Hungary typically reveals the presence of NPS in combination with other drugs. The majority of victims are male and the average age at the time of death is 33 years.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) in Hungary was 3.8 deaths per million in 2015, which is below the most recent European average of 20.3 deaths per million.

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

NBYear of data 2015, or latest available year.

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