France Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-induced deaths

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

Data on drug-induced deaths in France are collected from the General Mortality Registry (INSERM CépiDc) and the forensic Special Mortality Register (DRAMES, ANSM). The latest available data from the INSERM CépiDc refer to 2015 and indicate a stable trend. Nevertheless, it is estimated that the numbers of deaths may have been underestimated as a result of misclassification.

Toxicological data available from the Special Mortality Register indicate that opioid substitution treatment medications were involved in more than 4 out of 10 deaths recorded in 2016. Heroin was involved in a quarter of the deaths and cocaine in one in five deaths. Fourteen deaths were directly attributed to new psychoactive substances (NPS). Additional data are available through the national health alert scheme related to psychoactive substance use. In 2017, a total of eight deaths, six of which were related to NPS use, were recorded under this scheme.

The estimated drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) was 7 deaths per million in 2015.



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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.