In Luxembourg, reduction of drug-related harm and risk has been highlighted as an important activity of the National Strategy 2015-19.
A legal framework for the harm reduction measures, such as needle and syringe exchange, supervised injection rooms and the possibility to introduce medically assisted heroin distribution, was established in 2001, although some harm reduction interventions had already been initiated and developed previously.
The national needle and syringe programme in Luxembourg is decentralised and consists of five fixed sites and three vending machines situated in the towns most affected by injecting drug use. Clean syringes are available from drug counselling centres, drop-in centres for sex workers and at-risk populations, at low-threshold centres and in prison. In addition to needles and syringes, testing for blood-borne infectious diseases, vaccinations and counselling on safe use practices are also provided. In 2012, a mobile medical care unit was launched as an additional service, facilitating the provision of primary medical care at low-threshold agencies.
The number of sterile syringes distributed in the framework of the national needle programme has increased since it was first implemented in 1993, when approximately 76 000 syringes were distributed; it reached a peak in 2004, when approximately 435 000 syringes were handed out. Syringe demand decreased thereafter, and in 2015 approximately 361 400 syringes were distributed (including in prisons and from vending machines).
Availability of selected harm reduction responses
NB Year of data 2016.
A supervised drug injection room opened in 2005 and has been integrated into a low-threshold emergency centre for drug users. By 2015, a total of 1 605 clients had signed the facility’s mandatory user contract, and more than 56 000 injections were supervised by trained staff during that year. In 2012, the facility opened a room where drugs can be inhaled under supervision (blow room). The creation of an integrated low-threshold centre with a supervised drug consumption room in the southern part of the country in 2018 is part of the governmental programme.
In 2015 approximately 361 400 syringes were distributed through the needle and syringe programmes