Estonia Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-induced deaths

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

In 2017, 110 drug-induced deaths were reported. Toxicological results attributed the vast majority of these deaths to overdoses of synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl (in 28 cases fentanyls only) and other fentanyls, such as carfentanyl (reported in 15 cases). The mean age at drug-induced death has increased in recent years, although even in 2017 one fifth of victims were younger than 25 years. Compared with 2016, overdose death cases are more widely spread throughout the country.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults aged 15-64 years was 130 deaths per million in 2017, considerably higher than the European average of 22 deaths per million.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.