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Finland country overview — a summary of the national drug situation



Finland country overview
A summary of the national drug situation

Map of Finland

Our partner in Finland

The Finnish focal point is hosted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Read more »

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)

PO Box 33
FI-00271 Helsinki
(Office: Mannerheimintie 166 A, Helsinki)
Tel. +358 295246544

Head of focal point: Ms Martta Forsell

Our partner in Finland

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)

PO Box 33
FI-00271 Helsinki
(Office: Paciuksenkatu 21, FI-00271 Helsinki)
Tel. ++358 295246544

Head of focal point: Ms Martta Forsell

The Finnish focal point is hosted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

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Drug use among the general population and young people

A general population survey on drug use has been carried out in Finland every two to four years since 1996 among people aged 15–69. It is conducted online (since 2010) or via a postal questionnaire, with the exception of the survey carried out in 2000, when a face-to-face interview method was used.

The 2010 survey results indicate that almost one in six people aged 15–64 reported trying illicit drugs at least once during their lifetime, which is a slight increase compared with 2006. In the 15–64 age group 18.3 % reported that they had used cannabis at least once in their life. Lifetime prevalence of amphetamines was reported by 2.3 % of respondents, ecstasy by 1.8 %, cocaine by 1.7 % and LSD by 1.0 %. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 4.6 % and last month prevalence was 1.4 %. For all other substances, last year and last month prevalence was lower than 1 %. The highest rate of drug use was recorded among 15- to 34-year-olds. Some 29 % of respondents in this age group reported ever having used cannabis in their life, while 11.2 % had used it in the last year and 3.3 % in the last month. Amphetamine was the second most prevalent substances used by this age group, but prevalence of recent use was below 2 %. Comparing these data with the results from the 2002 study, last year cannabis use shows a stabilising trend, especially in the 15–24 age group, while among those aged 25–34 it has almost tripled. It is interesting to note that the proportion of males and females who have used drugs is almost the same in younger age groups, but divergence occurs with ageing, with drug use sharply declining among females aged 25–34.

The most recent European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) results for 15- to 16-year-olds, for 2011, indicate that 11 % of respondents had ever tried marijuana or hashish (8 % in 2007; 11 % in 2003; 10 % in 1999). The reported lifetime prevalence of cannabis use was 12 % for males and 10 % for females. In 2011 the lifetime prevalence of inhalants use was the same as in the previous study (10 % in 2011; 10 % in 2007; 8 % in 2003; 5 % in 1999). Lifetime prevalence of the use of ecstasy and other illicit drugs was reported by 1 % of the sample. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 9 % (6 % in 2007; 8 % in 2003) and last month prevalence was 3 % (2 % in 2007; 3 % in 2003).

Drug experimentation has increased in Finland since the first ESPAD survey was carried out in 1995. The surveys indicate that pupils who are doing well in school use substances of any kind less than do pupils who are performing poorly. By contrast, the educational background of the pupil’s family does not significantly influence experimentation.

Look for Prevalence of drug use in the 'Statistical bulletin' for more information  

High-risk drug use

Up to 2012 the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) defined problem drug use as injecting drug use (IDU) or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines. However, in 2012 a new definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adopted. The new definition includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

The latest estimates of high-risk drug use populations using the capture–recapture method are available from 2012 and are based on data from the police information system (including driving under the influence), hospital discharge register including outpatient data and opioid substitution treatment and national infectious diseases register. Nearly 13 900 high-risk drug users used amphetamines (sensitivity interval: 10 980–17 760). There were about 13 800 high-risk opioid users (sensitivity interval: 12 700–15 090), or 4.12 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64 (sensitivity interval: 3.78–4.49). The opioid most commonly used was buprenorphine. It is estimated that in total there are between 18 400 and 30 200 high-risk drug users Finland and large proportion of them use both amphetamines and opioids.

The previous estimates of problem amphetamine and opioid use were reported for 2005, but should only be used for comparison with great caution due to considerable differences in the sampling and statistical methods applied between both studies, as well as improvements in the registration practices and treatment availability.

The prevalence of frequent cannabis use was estimated based on 2010 general population survey data, which indicated that about 0.2 % of 15- to 64-year-olds used cannabis daily or almost daily.

Look for High risk drug-use in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Treatment demand

In 2013 drug treatment information was collected by the National Institute for Health and Welfare from 39 outpatient and 26 inpatient treatment centres and one prison. Data were collected on 1 099 clients admitted for treatment, of which 161 were new clients entering treatment for the first time.

As the drug treatment information system is voluntary and there is no official register of drug treatment centres, several treatment centres, in particular general healthcare centres, do not report data. The last studies carried out in 2004 and 2011 to estimate the level of data coverage in specialised drug treatment centres indicated coverage of around 32 %, varying according to facility type. The Finish drug treatment reporting system is currently being reformed in order to enhance coverage and quality of data.

In 2013 some 64 % of all clients entered treatment due to opioid use (mainly injecting buprenorphine), followed by cannabis at 15 % and stimulants at 12 %. Among the new treatment clients, 40 % reported that opioids were their main problem drug, followed by cannabis at 34 %, and stimulants at 13 %. Injection rates remained high among all treatment clients (82 % for opioids and 74 % for stimulants) and new treatment clients (73 % for opioids and 48 % for stimulants). It should be noted that more than half of all treatment demand clients were polydrug users, as they reported using three or more substances before entering treatment services.

In 2013 the mean age of all treatment clients was 30 years, while the new treatment clients were on average 27 years old. With regard to gender distribution, around 65 % of all treatment clients were male and 34 % were female. A similar gender distribution was reported among new treatment clients, with 63 % male and 37 % female.

Look for Treatment demand indicator in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Drug-related infectious diseases

The National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland operates the National Infectious Diseases Register. In 2012 it recorded 159 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (176 in 2011; 187 in 2010). In 2012 seven and in 2013 three cases of HIV were attributed to injecting drug use. In 1997 only two cases of diagnosed HIV infection were attributed to injecting drug use, increasing to 85 in 1999. The number of cases has decreased significantly since then. The national prevalence rate of HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID) for 2007 was estimated at 1.2 %, based on a sample of 722 people. In 2009 a sample of 684 current injecting drug users in nine needle and syringe programmes indicated HIV prevalence at 0.7 %.

In 2013 some 1 172 new cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were diagnosed (1 160 in 2011; 1 132 in 2010); approximately half of the cases had been contracted through injecting drug use. HCV prevalence among 682 clients of nine needle and syringe programme sites was 60.5 % in 2009. In 2013 some 20 cases of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were diagnosed; the means of transmission were identified in a small proportion of cases, and only one was attributed to the injecting drug use. In 2013, of 248 chronic HBV cases, three had contracted acute infection through injecting drug use.

In general, there has been a significant decline in HIV and HBV infections linked to injecting drug use over the past decade, which is largely attributed to the work of health counselling centres, including the exchange of used needles and syringes for clean ones and provision of the HBV vaccination free of charge to risk groups. However, the prevalence of HCV has remained fairly stable.

Look for Drug-related infectious diseases in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Drug-induced deaths and mortality among drug users

The National Cause of Death Register (General Mortality Register — Statistics Finland) and the Special Registry provide data on drug-induced deaths in Finland. Data from the Special Registry are based on forensic toxicological examinations that must be conducted in cases where death is unexpected or sudden. Data extraction and reporting is in line with the EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

A third indicative source is the Hjelt Institute, which provides data on the number of cases with positive chemical findings in forensic autopsies. The drug is not necessarily the direct cause of death for these cases.

According to the standard definition for the general mortality registries there were 201 drug-induced deaths in 2013, which is down from the 213 cases reported in 2012. Over the past 11 years the number of drug-induced deaths has generally increased and there was a fairly sharp increase in 2011 and 2012, mainly due to an increase in opioid- , amphetamine-, and cannabinoid-induced deaths. In 2013 a total of 164 deaths involved opioids — mainly opioid-containing medications such as buprenorphine, usually in combination with other psychoactive substances, e.g. alcohol or benzodiazepines. According to the General Mortality Register, 40 % of drug-induced deaths in 2000 involved people under the age of 25. This trend has since levelled off, and in 2013 the proportion of drug-induced deaths involving people under the age of 25 decreased to about 14 %. In 2013 the mean age of the victims was 38.9 years and the majority of the deceased were male (148). Some cases were related to new psychoactive drugs, of which MDPV was the most commonly found among the stimulant type of drugs.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (15–64) is 54.3 deaths per million, more than three times the European average of 17.2 deaths per million in 2012.

Look for Drug-related deaths in the Statistical bulletin for more information.  

Treatment responses

The provision of drug treatment falls under the responsibility of the regions and municipalities and is regulated by the Act on Welfare for Substance Abusers, the Social Welfare Act, the Mental Health Act and a Decree governing detoxification and substitution treatment for opioid addicts.

Specialised services are mainly provided by social welfare, while a trend to move drug treatment to primary health is increasingly noticeable. In particular this can be observed in the provision of opioid substitution treatment (OST), which has increasingly been transferred to health centres or pharmacies. Drug treatment is mainly funded by the public budget of the communities and delivered by NGOs or foundations, or public treatment agencies; however, long waiting times, the attitude of primary health providers and the distance to a specialised service are mentioned as obstacles for accessibility of treatment services.

Problem alcohol use is a much greater problem in Finland than is illicit drug use. Thus, there are more generic addiction treatment facilities than specific facilities, and this is the case for both outpatient and inpatient facilities. Drug treatment can be divided into five main categories: outpatient clinics; short-term inpatient care; long-term rehabilitation units; support services; and peer support activities. Outpatient services provide treatment for all kinds of addictions, and also include specialised youth outpatient services and outpatient services for problem drug users. They provide an assessment of mental and somatic status, counselling, individual, family or group therapy, referrals, detoxifications or OST. Short-term inpatient care refers to inpatient detoxification treatment, which is usually arranged in rehabilitation units, detoxification units or specialised healthcare services. The duration of the detoxification period varies from 24 hours to four weeks. Long-term rehabilitation includes residential psychosocial treatment for problem drug users, residential services for youth and psychiatric services for problem drug users. Support services include rehabilitative day-care centres and housing services. In addition, income-related activities, living and employment assistance are provided to facilitate treatment and recovery. Specialised medical care for addiction is also provided in emergency clinics and mental health services. It should be noted that available treatment is often focused on the needs of opioid users, while long-term treatment options for amphetamine users remain limited. The care guideline on the treatment of drug abuse was updated in 2012 and now incorporates guidelines for the treatment of users of new psychoactive substances and cannabis, emergency care cases, pregnant women, and ADHD and intoxicants users.

OST is provided in inpatient and outpatient settings. It is typically initiated in specialised inpatient units, after which clients are transferred to social outpatient services or health centres. General practitioners and pharmacies are increasingly involved in the provision of these services. Methadone was introduced in Finland in 1974 and buprenorphine became available in 1997. The buprenorphine/naloxone combination was introduced in 2004, making Finland the first country in Europe where this substitution medication became available.

In 2011 a total of 2 439 clients were reported to be receiving OST, of which 931 were on methadone and 1 508 were on buprenorphine-based medication.

See the Treatment profile for Finland for additional information.  

Harm reduction responses

In 1998, when the HIV epidemic began among Finnish drug users, public attention focused on preventing the disease being transmitted among people who inject drugs. Based on the Communicable Diseases Decree of 1986, which stipulates that the local level (municipalities) is in charge of the prevention of infectious diseases, harm reduction services were established and are implemented by municipal bodies.

Current harm reduction responses in Finland include outreach work and local health counselling centres. In addition, some harm reduction activities are carried out at treatment units. Outreach work mainly involves street patrols, with the aim of mediating between drug users and the official care system. Peer work is used in several locations and focuses on reaching the most excluded and hardest to reach groups of drug users.

Health counselling centres are low-threshold facilities catering for problem drug users, offering: referral to treatment; case management; information on drug-related diseases and risks such as overdoses; needle exchange; testing of infectious diseases and vaccinations; and small-scale healthcare. It should be noted that referral to treatment is considered an integral component of harm reduction services in Finland. However, there is some variation in service provision, depending on the facilities. The health counselling centres that provide sterile injecting equipment to prevent infectious diseases are located mainly in cities of over 100 000 inhabitants, and are available at about 35 locations across Finland (25 fixed sites, two sites serviced by outreach workers and 13 sites serviced by needle and syringe programme vans).

A decree on vaccinations passed in 2004 recommends, as part of the general vaccination programme, free vaccination against hepatitis A and B viruses for people who inject drugs (PWID), their sexual partners and individuals living in the same household. The most recent data indicate that more than one-third of PWID in contact with the drug treatment system had received all three vaccine doses and more than half had received at least one.

According to available data, the number of clients using the needle and syringe programmes at health counselling centres has significantly increased during the period 2001–10, from 8 400 to more than 14 000 individual clients reached. In recent years, client numbers seem to have stabilised at around 11 000. The number of syringes given out has increased year on year from 950 000 in 2001 to 3.8 million in 2013. Needles and syringes can also be purchased without medical prescription at most pharmacies in Finland, and pharmacies play a key role in needle and syringe provision in areas where there are no health counselling centres.

In Finland the HBV vaccine is recommended for several high-risk groups, including prisoners and injecting drug users.

See the Harm reduction overview for Finland for additional information.  

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Finland is not a prime target of the worldwide drug trade; however, the drug trade is professional and dominated by organised crime groups with strong international connections to the neighbouring countries of Estonia and Lithuania. Because of its location, Finland is increasingly seen as a route to Russia for cocaine and hashish, for example.

While the Finnish drug market is fairly stable, there is concern over an increase in the domestic cultivation of cannabis and its professionalisation, and the smuggling of amphetamines, ecstasy and other synthetic psychoactive substances and narcotic pharmaceuticals. The supply of hashish mainly originates from Morocco, reaching the Finnish market from central or eastern Europe. Amphetamine is smuggled to Finland mostly via Sweden and Estonia, primarily from western European sources. The availability of heroin in the Finnish market plummeted after 2001, and it was replaced by buprenorphine. The number of Subutex tablets seized, smuggled into Finland from France, increased. Smaller amounts had been brought in mainly from diverted foreign prescriptions, primarily from Estonia. However, since it is no longer possible to import Subutex legally under prescriptions signed in Estonia, other countries like Sweden, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and countries in the Far East (via the Internet) have emerged as potential sources. The increased availability of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is one of the emerging trends of the Finnish drug scene, and they are usually ordered online from abroad. In 2010, for the first time ever, police discovered a local production site of synthetic drugs and the quantities of mCPP tablets seized indicated that the production was intended for export. NPS are mainly imported via mail or express cargo services from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Poland and Germany.

In 2013 the number of seizures of cannabis products continued to increase when compared to the previous years. A total of 122 kg of cannabis resin, 285 kg of herbal cannabis and 23 000 cannabis plants were seized in 2013. The quantity of amphetamine seized decreased from 124 kg in 2012 to 84 kg in 2013, and the amount of methamphetamine seized continued to decrease from 28 kg in 2011 to 7.4 kg in 2013. In 2013 an exceptionally high number of ecstasy seizures (795) resulted in a total of 121 600 tablets seized, which is the largest amount seized since 1967, when drug seizures began. Cocaine has been appearing on the market more frequently in past 10 years, but it remains rather marginal. In 2012 an exceptionally large amount of cocaine was seized: about 26 kg, of which 20 kg was en route to Sweden. In 2013 a total of 4.5 kg of cocaine was seized. As heroin has been largely replaced by illegally obtained Subutex, it is worth noting that more than 37 000 Subutex tablets were seized in Finland in 2013.

In 2013 a record number of 22 636 drug-law offences were reported, and more than 56 % of all reports were use-related offences.

Look for Drug law offences in the Statistical bulletin for additional data.  

National drug laws

The central framework for drug legislation in Finland is based on the Narcotics Act. The provisions for drug offences are laid down in Chapter 50 of the Penal Code. Use of drugs and possession of small amounts of drugs for own use constitute drug-use offences punishable by a fine or a maximum of six months’ imprisonment. Prosecution and punishment can be waived if the offence is considered insignificant, or if the suspect has sought treatment specified by the Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

A ‘drug offence’ includes possession (whether for personal use or supply), manufacturing, growing, smuggling, selling and dealing. There is no specific offence of dealing or trafficking. The penalties for a drug offence range from a fine to a maximum of two years’ imprisonment, while an aggravated drug offence is punishable by 1–10 years’ imprisonment. Aggravating circumstances for a drug offence include, for example: substances considered as ‘very dangerous’; large quantities of drugs; considerable financial profit; or if the offender acts as a member of a group that has been organised for the express purpose of committing such an offence.

In 2014, the Narcotics Act was amended to address both narcotics and ‘psychoactive substances banned from the consumer market’. These latter substances are listed in a Government Decree following a defined procedure of evaluation, and unauthorised supply is classed as an offence endangering health and safety, punishable by up to one year in prison.

Go to the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) for additional information.  

National drug strategy

The principles and objectives of Finland’s drug policy were described in its 1997 National Drugs Strategy, and subsequent resolutions outline action for specific periods. Following resolutions for the periods 2004–07 and 2008–11, the Government Resolution on the Action Plan to Reduce Drug Use and Related Harm was adopted in August 2012. Covering the period 2012–15, it is primarily concerned with illicit drugs and represents continuity with the approach set out in the 1997 strategy.

The 2012 Action Plan addresses five areas: (i) preventive work and early intervention; (ii) combating drug-related crime; (iii) treatment of drug addiction and reduction of harm from drug use; (iv) the European Union’s drug policy and international cooperation; and (v) information collection and research regarding drug problems.


Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

In 1999 the Government set up the National Drug Policy Coordination Group, which is composed of representatives from all involved ministries and is re-appointed every four years. This group has the task of coordinating national drug policy and intensifying collaboration between authorities in their effort to implement and monitor the Government Resolution on Cooperation regarding national drug policy for 2008–11. It is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and is attended by representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the National Police Board, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Ministry of Finance, the customs authorities, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Board of Education, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea.

Each municipality has a substance abuse worker who coordinates local actions, mainly in the field of prevention. These substance abuse workers are coordinated and supervised by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Provincial governments have cross-sectoral working groups for alcohol and drug issues, which coordinate and supervise the implementation of actions by the municipalities.

Public expenditure

The Finnish Government approves an annual drug budget that is in line with its drug strategy and action plan. Annual estimates of expenditures are also provided and include both labelled and unlabelled expenditures (1,2). The method used to estimate total drug related expenditure was updated in 2012, and data for that year is not comparable with previously reported data.

In 2012 total drug-related expenditure represented 0.2 % of GDP (Table 1), with 61 % spent on public order and safety, 25 % on transfers for social protection and 13 % on healthcare.

Trend analysis shows that in 2012 total drug-related public expenditure remained broadly unchanged in real terms (it varied by –0.6 % compared to the previous year); nonetheless, the increase of 2.6 % registered in nominal terms.

Table 1: Total drug-related public expenditure (average), 2012
  Expenditure (thousand EUR) % of total (a)
(a) EMCDDA estimations.
(b) According to the United Nations Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) Eurostat data sources: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/ (general) and http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cr/registry/regcst.asp?Cl=4
Source: National Annual report of Finland (2011).
COFOG classification (b)    
Public order and safety 244 500 61
Social protection 101 500 25
Health 53 300 13
Total 399 300 100.00
% of GDP 0,2%  
  • (1) Some of the drug-related public expenditure is identified as such in the budget (‘labelled’). Often, however, the bulk of drug-related expenditure is not identified (‘unlabelled’) and must be estimated by modelling approaches. The total budget is the sum of labelled and unlabelled expenditures.
  • (2) Unlabelled expenditures are estimated on the basis of the method developed in Hein, R. and Salomaa, J. (1998), ‘Päihteiden käytön haittakustannukset Suomessa vuosina 1994–1995. Alkoholi ja huumeet’ [‘Harm-related costs of substance use in Finland 1994–1995: alcohol and drugs’], Tilastoraportti 4 Helsinki: Stakes.

Drug-related research

Greater emphasis was first placed on drug-related research in the 1990s, as experimentation and use of drugs and their related harms were increasing. In the past 10 years drug-related research has evolved from a global approach and setting up the basic indicators for monitoring the drug situation to detailed research based on the development of the drug situation. The current policy guidelines include a section on information collection and research. Major actors in this area include the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), the National Research Institute on Legal Policy and several university departments. The state budget and the Academy of Finland are the main funding sources of drug-related research. The Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues (NVC), based in Helsinki, also plays an important role in promoting and supporting research cooperation amongst the Nordic countries. The main channels for disseminating research findings are the drug situation report, published online by the Finnish National Focal Point, the scientific journals that publish drug-related research and Internet portals. Recent drug-related studies mentioned in the 2014 Finnish National report have focused on responses to and consequences of drug use, but research on prevalence and on methodological issues has also been reported.

See Drug-related research for more detailed information. 

Key national figures and statistics

b Break in time series.

e Estimated.

p Eurostat provisional value.

1 Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economic activity. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. The volume index of GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) is expressed in relation to the European Union (EU-27) average set to equal 100. If the index of a country is higher than 100, this country's level of GDP per head is higher than the EU average and vice versa.

2  Expenditure on social protection contains: benefits, which consist of transfers, in cash or in kind to households and individuals to relieve them of the burden of a defined set of risks or needs.

3 Unemployment rates represent unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. Unemployed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 74 who were: (a) without work during the reference week; (b) currently available for work; (c) actively seeking work.

4 Situation of penal institutions on 1 September, 2012.

5 Share of persons aged 0+ with an equivalent disposable income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

Key figures
  Year   EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 5 451 949
506 824 509 ep
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 12.0 %  11.3 % bep
25–49 31.5 %  34.7 % bep
50–64 20.7 %
19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2013 113 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2012 31.2 % 29.5 % p Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2014 8.7 % 10.2 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2014 20.5 % 22.2 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2013 57.6  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2013
At risk of poverty rate 5  2013 11.8 % 16.6 % e SILC

Data sheet — key statistics on the drug situation

        EU range      
  Year   Country data Min. Max. Average Rank Reporting Countries
Problem opioid use (rate/1 000) 2012   4.12 0.2 10.7   14 21
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   64.2% 6% 93%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   40.4% 2% 81%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) :   : 6% 42%      
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2013   EUR 150 EUR 25 EUR 158   21 22
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2010   0.6% 0% 4% 2%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2010   0.2% 0% 2% 1% 3 26
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.1% 0% 39%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.0% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2013   42.0% 20% 75%   17 27
Price per gram (EUR) 2013 1 EUR 100 EUR 47 EUR 103   22 24
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2010   1.6% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2010   0.8% 0% 1% 1% 22 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   11.0% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   10.6% 0% 22%      
Purity (%) 2013   16.0% 5% 71%   15 25
Price per gram (EUR) 2013 1 EUR 35 EUR 8 EUR 63   18 21
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2010   1.1% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2010   0.4% 0% 2% 1% 9 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.3% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.6% 0% 4%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) :   : 26 mg 144 mg      
Price per tablet (EUR) 2013 1 EUR 17 EUR 3 EUR 24   18 19
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   11.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2010   11.2% 0% 22% 12%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2010   4.6% 0% 11% 6% 16 27
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   14.6% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   34.2% 5% 80%      
Potency — herbal (%) :   : 2% 13%      
Potency — resin (%) :   : 3% 22%      
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2013 2 EUR 15 - EUR 20 EUR 4 EUR 25      
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2013 2 EUR 10 - EUR 20 EUR 3 EUR 21      
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) 2012   6.2 2.0 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) 2012   4.6 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (rate/million) 2013   0.6 0.0 54.5      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 49%      
HCV prevalence (%) 2009   60.5% 14% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2013   37.0 1.5 84.1      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2013   3 834 262 124 406 9 457 256      
Clients in substitution treatment 2011   2 439 180 172 513      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2013   1 099 289 101 753      
New clients 2013   161 19 35 229      
All clients with known primary drug 2013   1 099 287 99 186      
New clients with known primary drug 2013   161 19 34 524      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2013   22 636 429 426 707      
Offences for use/possession 2013   12 738 58 397 713      


See the explanatory notes for further information on the methods and definitions.

Only the most recent data are available for each key statistic. Data before 2006 were excluded.

1 - Value is the mode and not the mean.

2 - Data presented are the minimum and maximum value recorded.

Additional sources of national information

In addition to the information provided above, you might find the following resources useful sources of national data.


Page last updated: Tuesday, 07 July 2015