The National Strategy on Combating Drug Abuse 2012-17 and its related action plans set out the main objectives for harm reduction in Croatia, which include continuous support for the implementation of existing programmes and expansion of coverage and diversification of harm reduction services towards new target groups and new types of services. Harm reduction programmes are an integral part of public health activities in Croatia and are promoted by the Ministry of Health. Harm reduction activities are conducted by the network of services for mental health protection, addiction prevention and outpatient treatment, by the Croatian Red Cross and various non-governmental organisations (NGOs): Institut, Ne-ovisnost, Help, HUHIV, HULOH Hepatos, Porat, Let and Terra. Since 1996, when the first harm reduction programme was launched, geographical coverage has expanded and, in 2016, these programmes were available at numerous fixed sites and in locations served by outreach workers, as well as being provided from mobile vans across the whole country.
In Croatia, harm reduction services give out needles and syringes and other injecting paraphernalia and equipment, and offer voluntary, anonymous and free-of-charge counselling and testing. The programmes also print and distribute information material about safer drug use. In recent years, they have contributed to the prevention of overdoses and have focused on the reduction of other health-related risks among their clients.
In 2016, six NGO-run harm reduction programmes distributed around 279 000 syringes, with the majority given out by the NGO Help.
Ten specialised centres, part of the public health system, are located across the country in major cities and in the prison hospital in Zagreb. They provide anonymous and free-of-charge testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and counselling. HIV and hepatitis C virus infection tests are performed at some NGO-led harm reduction programmes. A new mobile application and online platform were launched in 2017, providing users with information about hepatitis.
|Country||Needle and syringe programmes||Take-home naloxone programmes||Drug consumption rooms||Heroin-assisted treatment|