The prevalence of use of illicit drugs among the adult population in Romania increased steadily over the period 2004-13. However, it remained low in comparison with other European countries, with cannabis being the most commonly used drug although its use is concentrated among young adults aged 15-34 years. A substantial increase in the prevalence of cannabis use compared with previous years was observed in 2013. In general, males report cannabis use more frequently than females.
Data from general population studies indicate that about 2 % of the Romanian adult population have experimented with NPS, although regular use remains rare and is concentrated among young people. Nevertheless, NPS use is linked to about one fifth of all treatment entries and to most emergencies due to the use of illicit drugs in Romania.
All other illicit drugs are used less frequently among the general population.
Estimates of last-year drug use among young adults (16-34 years) in Romania
NBEstimated last-year prevalence of drug use in 2013.
Substance use among 15- to 16- year-old school students in Romania
NBSource: ESPAD study 2015.
Drug use among students is reported in the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), which was conducted in Romania for the fifth time in 2015. These surveys confirm that cannabis is the most prevalent illicit drug among students and indicate an increase in the lifetime prevalence of cannabis use among 15- to 16-yearold students since 1999. Nevertheless, the prevalence of lifetime use of cannabis among Romanian students is only half the ESPAD average (based on data from 35 countries). Lifetime use of illicit drugs other than cannabis and lifetime use of NPS among Romanian students in 2015 were similar to the ESPAD averages. Non-prescribed use of tranquillisers or sedatives and lifetime use of inhalants were lower than the ESPAD averages
Studies reporting estimates of high-risk drug use can help to identify the extent of the more entrenched drug use problems, while data on first-time entrants to specialised drug treatment centres, when considered alongside other indicators, can inform understanding on the nature and trends in high-risk drug use.
There are no national estimates of high-risk drug use in Romania.
Data from specialised treatment facilities suggest that about 94 % of PWID entering treatment use heroin as a primary substance, while around 5 % report use of NPS (including synthetic cathinones).
Data from specialised treatment facilities suggest that about 94.5 % of PWID entering treatment use heroin as a primary substance
The long-term analysis suggests that the number of opioid users entering treatment in Romania has been decreasing since 2007, while the number of cannabis users has grown since 2013. The increase in cannabis treatment demands might be largely attributable to the initiation of the procedure that allows treatment to be offered as an alternative to imprisonment for certain categories of offenders. In addition, the number of emergency cases involving cannabis use is on the rise.
Approximately 1 out of 8 treatment clients in Romania is female; however, the proportion of females in treatment varies by type of substances used and by programme.
National estimates of last year prevalence of high-risk opioid use
NBYear of data 2015, or latest available year..
Characteristics and trends of drug users entering specialised drug treatment in Romania
NBYear of data 2015. Data is for first-time entrants, except for gender which is for all treatment entrants.