In Slovenia, the reduction of drug-related harm has been one of the main objectives of several consecutive national strategies on drugs, the latest of which covers the period from 2014 to 2020. The harm reduction programmes are partly financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. In addition, the Slovenian Health Insurance Institute provides funding for the centralised purchase of injecting equipment, which is distributed by the Koper Regional Unit of the NIPH to harm reduction programmes.
In 2015, 10 harm reduction programmes operated across Slovenia, providing sterile injecting equipment, information and counselling at fixed sites and at various outreach locations.
These services are provided in the capital city of Ljubljana and other major regions and cities (the Maribor region, the Koper region, the cities of Celje, Ilirska Bistrica, etc.). Syringes and other injecting paraphernalia (alcohol wipes and ascorbic acid) are usually made available through day-care centres and outreach and mobile services, and are also available at five pharmacy-based exchange sites. In 2015, about half a million syringes were distributed nationwide, which indicates an increase in the distribution of sterile injecting material when compared with 2014.
In recent years, new programmes have been developed at the local level, mainly aimed at PWID and drug users in recreational settings. As an example, in response to the emerging use of NPS, the NGO DrogArt provides a drug testing and counselling service for users of NPS. Within the framework of a national early warning system, a network of information points for the anonymous collection and testing of substance samples was established.
Availability of selected harm reduction responses
NB Year of data 2016.
In addition, free vaccination against hepatitis B virus and free testing for hepatitis and HIV infection are available to all drug users in contact with CPTDAs. These centres also provide training on overdose prevention. Treatment of HCV infection is free of charge in Slovenia. In 2015, an NGO obtained funding to prepare and operate a safe consumption facility in Ljubljana; however, the facility has not yet been opened.
Free vaccination against HBV and free testing for hepatitis and HIV infection are available to all drug users in contact with drug treatment services