Poland Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-induced deaths

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

Data from the Polish General Mortality Register show that the number of reported drug-induced deaths has fallen since 2014. In 2016, 7 out of 10 victims of drug-related deaths were male, and the mean age of the victims was 37 years for males and 46 years for females. Some deaths recorded among females might be related the use of an opioid the context of long-term prescription of painkillers for cancer and non-cancer conditions. Limitations in the coding and recording of the cases limits the possibility to fully assess the contribution of these cases to the total number reported.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) in 2016 was seven deaths per million, which is below 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.