Drug harms in Slovenia 2017

Slovenia Country Drug Report 2017

Drug harms

Drug-related infectious diseases

In Slovenia, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) collects notifications on drug-related infectious diseases and test results from a convenience sample of treatment clients in Centres for the Prevention and Treatment of Illicit Drug Addiction (CPTDA). In general, the analysis of surveillance information on the prevalence of drug-related infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Slovenia indicates a stable situation in recent years.

The available data indicate that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most prevalent drug-related infectious disease among PWID. In 2015, the prevalence of HCV infection among PWID who were tested confidentially during treatment was 42.7 %, which is slightly higher than in 2014.

The number of new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection linked to injecting drug use remains very low, with two new cases detected in 2014 and one in 2015. In 2015, no positive HIV tests were reported among PWID who were tested confidentially during treatment at CPTDAs.

In 2015, the prevalence of antibodies against HBV among PWID who were tested confidentially during treatment at CPTDAs was 5.9 %, and this proportion has remained stable.

Drug-related emergencies

Data on drug-related emergencies are reported for the Ljubljana region only and refer to adult patients who are examined and treated at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana.

In 2015, 145 people were treated. Cannabis was the most frequently reported substance in drug-related emergencies (64 cases), while about one third of cases were linked to either heroin or cocaine use. In addition, some emergency cases were attributed to the use of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid/gamma-butyrolactone (GHB/GBL) or amphetamines; a few cases involving NPS, such as 2CI-NBOMe (a derivative of phenethtylamine) were also reported.

In general, the trend indicates an increase in the number of illicit drug poisoning cases in the last five years.

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

NBYear of data 2015.


Newly diagnosed HIV cases attributed to injecting drug use

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


Characteristics of and trends in drug-induced deaths in Slovenia

NB Year of data 2015.

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

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

In general, the number of drug-induced deaths in Slovenia has remained stable in recent years. In 2015, the general mortality register reported more deaths than in 2014. Toxicological testing results showed the involvement of opioids (heroin and methadone) in the majority of reported cases. For the first time, two cannabisrelated deaths were registered in 2015. The majority of deaths were among males. The mean age of victims was above 40 years and there has been a continuous trend of increasing age over the last five years.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (15-64 years) was 21.6 deaths per million in 2015, which is similar to the most recent European average of 20.3 deaths per million.

A mortality cohort study conducted between 2004 and 2013 among treated drug users found a mortality rate of 5.7 deaths per 1 000 person-years, which is twice that of the general population of the same age. The excess deaths were attributable not only to drugs use directly, but also to suicide, traffic accidents and other violent acts, alcoholic liver cirrhosis and cardiovascular diseases. The excess mortality as a result of suicide was particularly high, being 2.5 times higher for males and almost four times higher for females in the study cohort than in the general population.

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

NB Year of data 2015, or latest available year.

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