Slovakia Country Drug Report 2017

Drug use

Prevalence and trends

Cannabis remains the most common illicit substance used among the adult general population in Slovakia, and its use is concentrated among young people aged 15-34 years. The 2015 survey found that slightly fewer than one third of young people had tried cannabis during their lifetime, but approximately 9 % had used cannabis during the last year. The last-year prevalence of cannabis use almost halved between 2006 and 2010, while the 2015 survey indicates an increase in cannabis experimentation among young adults.

MDMA/ecstasy is the main illicit stimulant used among the adult general population and is particularly common among 15- to 24-year-olds. Methamphetamine is the second most prevalent stimulant; however, its use is mainly concentrated among some sub-groups of the population exhibiting high-risk drug use patterns.

In 2015, less than 1 % of adults reported use of any NPS in the past.

Bratislava and Piestany participate in the Europe-wide annual wastewater campaigns undertaken by the Sewage Analysis Core Group Europe (SCORE). This study provides data on drug use at a community level, based on the levels of different illicit drugs and their metabolites in a source of wastewater. The results indicated an increase in methamphetamine use in both cities between 2015 and 2016. Use of all stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine and MDMA) appears to be more common in Bratislava than in Piestany. MDMA and cocaine metabolites were found to be present in wastewater at a higher level at weekends than on workdays in both cities.

 

Estimates of last-year drug use among young adults (16-34 years) in Slovakia

 

NBEstimated last year prevalence of drug use in 2015.

 

Substance use among 15- to 16- year-old school students in Slovakia

NBSource: ESPAD study 2015.

Data on drug use among 15- to 16-year-old students are reported in the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). The survey has been conducted in Slovakia since 1995 and the most recent data are from 2015. Slovakian students reported prevalence rates above the ESPAD average (based on data from 35 countries) for three out of the eight key variables including lifetime use of cannabis. The long-term trend indicates that lifetime prevalence rate of cannabis use among 15- to 16-yearolds more than tripled between 1995 and 2007, fell slightly in 2011 and has since stabilised at a high level. In 2015, Slovakian students reported lifetime use of illicit drugs other than cannabis slightly higher than the ESPAD average, while lifetime use of NPS was more or less in line with the ESPAD average.

High-risk drug use and trends

Studies reporting estimates of high-risk drug use can help to identify the extent of the more entrenched drug use problems, while data on the 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.

In Slovakia, problem drug use is mainly linked to high-risk methamphetamine (domestically produced ‘pervitin’) use and high-risk opioid use.

The last estimate of the number of high-risk opioid users, based on the multiplier method applied to data from harm reduction agencies, dates back to 2008. It suggested that there were approximately 4 888 high-risk opioid users in Slovakia at that time (range 3 966-9 782). The same study estimated that the number of methamphetamine (pervitin) users was 3 263 (range: 2 523-9 854).

Data from specialised treatment centres indicate that amphetamines (mainly methamphetamine) are the main primary illicit drug used by first-time treatment clients, followed by cannabis and heroin.

The number of first-time treatment clients seeking treatment for methamphetamine use decreased slightly in 2015; however, this did not affect the overall dominance of methamphetamine users in the Slovak treatment services. In addition, the number of heroin users requiring treatment for the first time has halved in the past decade.

Injecting use of the primary substance is more common among opioids users than among stimulants users. Moreover, in recent years, a decline in stimulant injecting has been observed, and reports indicate that methamphetamine is increasingly being smoked.

Approximately 2 out of 10 clients entering treatment are female, but the proportion of females in treatment varies by the treatment type and the substance used.

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 Slovakia

 

NBYear of data 2015. Data is for first-time entrants, except for gender which is for all treatment entrants.


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