Drug-induced deaths are deaths that can be directly attributed to the use of illicit drugs (i.e. poisonings and overdoses).
In Germany, there are two general, comprehensive systems for recording drug-related deaths: police data from the ‘Drugs data file’ and the ‘Statistical report on the causes of death’ from the German Federal Statistical Office.
Data from the Police Register of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation indicated a decrease in the number of drug-induced deaths in 2017, reversing the increase observed in recent years. Opioids, alone or in combination with other substances, remained the most common cause of drug-induced deaths, followed by amphetamines and cocaine or crack cocaine. Data from the General Mortality Register, available up to 2015, indicate an increase in the number of drug-induced deaths between 2012 and 2015.
The Statistical Report on Substance Abuse Treatment in Germany indicated that around 2.3 % of clients receiving outpatient addiction counselling as a result of opioid use died in 2016.
The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) was 21 deaths per million in Germany in 2016, compared with the most recent European average of 22 deaths per million.