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Hungary country overview — a summary of the national drug situation



Hungary country overview
A summary of the national drug situation

Map of Hungary

Our partner in Hungary

The Hungarian NFP has been located within the National Centre for Epidemiology (NCE) of the National Public Health and Medical Officers Service since 1 January 2004. Its legal basis was confirmed by an adoption of a governmental resolution in September 2003. The Coordination Committee on Drug Affairs co-chaired by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, the Ministry of Health oversees the work of the NFP. Read more »

National Institute for Health Development

Nagyvárad tér 2.
H-1096 Budapest
Tel. +36 13651540/134

Head of focal point a.i.: Mr Adrienn Nyírády

Our partner in Hungary 

National Institute for Health Development

Nagyvárad tér 2.
H-1096 Budapest
Tel. +36 13651540/134

Head of focal point a.i.: Mr Adrienn Nyírády

The Hungarian NFP has been located within the National Centre for Epidemiology (NCE) of the National Public Health and Medical Officers Service since 1 January 2004. Its legal basis was confirmed by an adoption of a governmental resolution in September 2003. The Coordination Committee on Drug Affairs co-chaired by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, the Ministry of Health oversees the work of the NFP.

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Drug use among the general population and young people

Three nationwide studies on drug use among the general population have been conducted in Hungary. The most recent general population survey on drug use was conducted in 2007 among 18- to 64-year-olds. It found that lifetime prevalence was 8.5 % for cannabis, 2.4 % for ecstasy, 1.8 % for amphetamines, 1.1 % for hallucinogens and under 1 % for other illicit substances. In 2003 lifetime prevalence was 9.8 % for cannabis, 3.1 % for ecstasy, 2.5 % for amphetamines and under 2 % for other substances. Available data for young adults aged 18–34 in 2007 found that lifetime prevalence was 19.1 % for cannabis, 5.1 % for ecstasy and 4.0 % for amphetamines. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 5.7 % and last month prevalence was 2.7 %.

In 2013, a study on social well-being that included questions on drug use was carried out among a sample of 2 000 people aged 19–64. Cannabis was the most frequently reported substance ever used by the participants, followed by synthetic cannabinoids, ecstasy, amphetamines and other new psychoactive substances. A large proportion of respondents reported using two or more illicit substances in the past year. The study indicates that illicit drug use predominates among young males, those who live in large cities, those with university qualifications and those from poorer social groups. More detailed results are available in the 2014 National report.

Hungary also participated in the international study on Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) among young people aged 15–16 and 17. The most recent survey was carried out in 2010 and indicated a lifetime prevalence rate of 14 % for cannabis use among 15- to 16-year-old students. Experimentation or use of the substance once or twice in the past 12 months were the most commonly reported patterns of use.

Nationwide data on drug use among 15- to 16-year-old students are based on the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), which has been conducted regularly since 1995. The most recent ESPAD results, from 2011, showed that 19 % had ever tried marijuana or hashish (13 % in 2007; 16 % in 2003). In 2011 lifetime prevalence for inhalants was reported by 10 % of the students. Lifetime prevalence was 6 % for amphetamines, 4 % for ecstasy, 3 % for LSD, 2 % for cocaine and 2 % for heroin. Last year prevalence was 15 % for cannabis (10 % in 2007; 11 % in 2003), and last month prevalence was 8 % (5 % in 2007; 6 % in 2003). In terms of gender differences, the reported lifetime prevalence of cannabis use was 21 % among males and 18 % among females.

The results of both studies indicate that drug use, in particular cannabis and amphetamines, has become more prevalent among school-aged adolescents.

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.

Data from a 2010–11 capture–recapture study suggests suggest that there were between 2 910 and 3 577 high-risk opioid users, with a central rate of 0.5 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64. In 2007–08 the estimated population size of amphetamine users was 27 323 (95 % CI: 18 138–36 508), while the estimated number of cocaine users was about 5 600.

With regard to frequent cannabis use, an estimated 0.3 % of the Hungarian population aged 15–64 used cannabis daily or almost daily in 2007.

In 2008–09 the number of injecting drug users was estimated to be 5 699, with a central rate of 0.8 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64. This estimation was based on the records of infectious diseases screening programmes.

Studies carried out in the last three years indicate a continuous increase in injecting of new psychoactive substances (largely synthetic cathinones), and in particular a shift from injecting ‘traditional’ substances (heroin, amphetamines) to new psychoactive substances (NPS). Studies in this area identified that injecting NPS is more prevalent among those who started injecting within the last four years.

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

Treatment demand

The National Centre for Addiction coordinates the treatment demand data collection in Hungary and the national focal point analyses the data.

In 2013 the data collection system for treatment demand was provided by 53 outpatient and 16 inpatient treatment units, 20 low-threshold units and six treatment units in prisons. A total of 3 985 clients entered treatment, 2 552 of whom were new clients entering treatment for the first time. About 70 % of all treatment clients entered treatment in outpatient settings. About 65 % of all treatment clients enter treatment as an alternative to criminal procedure, with only about one-third entering treatment voluntarily.

In 2013 cannabis remained the primary substance of abuse among all treatment clients at 61 %, followed by 18 % for stimulants and 6 % for opioids. Among new treatment clients, cannabis was reported as the primary substance of use by 70 %, followed by 17 % for stimulants and 2 % for opioids and cocaine. Cannabis users accounted for around 75 % of all clients who entered treatment as an alternative to criminal procedure. There are indications of a decrease in heroin use and related treatment demand and an increase in the number of clients entering treatment for NPS use, even though the figures are low — 10 % of all treatment clients and 9 % of new treatment clients. Furthermore, a notable proportion of clients who reported cannabis as their primary drug are presumably synthetic cannabinoid users.

When looking at all treatment clients, those injecting their primary substance as their main route of administration accounted for 29 % of all and 16 % of new treatment clients reporting injectable drug use. Among clients entering treatment for primary opioid use, 70 % of all treatment clients and 60 % of new treatment clients reported drug injection. While stimulants were injected less frequently, it remains the most often injected substance among new treatment clients. Injecting is more prevalent among clients reporting NPS as their primary drug when compared to those who use ‘classical’ stimulants.

In 2013, the mean age of all treatment clients was 28, while those entering treatment for the first time were, on average, 26 years old. It is notable that those who reported a NPS as their primary drug were in general younger than other clients entering treatment. In terms of gender distribution, among all clients entering treatment in 2013 the majority (85 %) were male and 15 % were female. A similar gender distribution was recorded among new treatment clients: 87 % were male and 13 % were female.

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

Drug-related infectious diseases

There are two primary sources of information on drug-related infectious diseases in Hungary — the National Registry of Infected Patients, run by the Department for Epidemiology of the National Centre for Epidemiology, and the special human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and hepatitis surveillance database. In 2011 the National Centre for Epidemiology implemented the fifth nationwide prevalence survey on infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (PWID). In addition, in 2013 a voluntary diagnostic testing programme was offered by needle and syringe programmes (NSP) and specialised outpatient treatment centres in nine cities to detect HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence rates, and also risk behaviours among PWID.

According to the National Centre for Epidemiology, of the 46 acute cases of HCV registered in Hungary in 2013 (15 cases with a known transmission route), 10 were due to injecting drug use. The number of registered acute HCV cases infected by drug injecting increased notably between 2006–13. For HBV, 62 acute cases were registered in 2013; however, the transmission route was only reported for 20 cases, of which five were linked to injecting drug use.

In 2013 there were 240 newly diagnosed HIV-positive cases in the general population. The incidence rate was 24 cases per million inhabitants. One HIV infection relating to injecting drug use (of foreign nationality) was identified among all cases with a known risk factor, while the overwhelming majority of newly registered cases were linked to homo-/bisexual transmission.

On the basis of the national seroprevalence survey carried out in 2011 among 666 PWID, no HIV positive case was found, while 24.1 % had antibodies to HCV and 0.5 % tested positive for HBV (HBsAg).

No HIV cases were detected among 233 voluntarily tested injecting drug user clients of service programmes in nine cities in 2013. The same testing programme revealed HCV prevalence of 31.9 % and HBV (HBsAg) prevalence of 2.2 %. There is a concern that injecting NPS may increase the risk of transmission of drug-related infectious diseases, in particular HCV, due to more frequent injecting and sharing of injecting paraphernalia. Moreover, in this sample HCV prevalence seemed to be higher among those who started injecting recently and women below the age of 25.

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

Drug-induced deaths and mortality among drug users

Since 2009 the data on drug-related direct and indirect deaths have been derived from the mortality module of the National Centre for Addiction (OAC) reporting system, which contains detailed information on each case, including toxicology results.

In 2013 a total of 31 drug-induced deaths were reported, which indicates a further increase on the previous three years (24 in 2012, 14 in 2011; 17 in 2010; 31 in 2009; 27 in 2008; 25 in both 2007 and 2006). Toxicology was known for all cases, and in the majority (14) opioids were involved, in combination with other substances. In 14 cases the presence of NPS was detected. With regard to distribution by age and sex, 19 were males and the mean age at the time of death was 33.

The presence of NPS alone or in combination with other drugs remains one of the emerging trends for drug-related deaths in Hungary, whereas the number of opioid-related deaths started to decrease in 2009. This is consistent with seizure and treatment data showing that the level of heroin injection has been decreasing.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15–64) was 4.6 deaths per million in 2013, which is below the European average of 17.2 deaths per million.

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

Treatment responses

The State Secretariat for Health Care is responsible for all aspects related to drug users’ healthcare, while the State Secretariat for Social Affairs and Social Inclusion is in charge of issues related to social care. Both secretariats are located at the Ministry of Human Capacities. Treatment services at the regional level are primarily provided by public bodies and, to a lesser extent, by non-governmental drug service providers. Drug treatment services are differentiated on the basis of type of services, namely medical or social services. Some treatment units provide only health or social services, while others provide mixed services. A clear separation exists between the financing, definition, regulation and inspection of social and health services. Medical types of drug treatment services are financed by the National Health Insurance Fund, with the exception of about 10 % of inpatient and outpatient institutions financed by the church or other organisations. The majority of social services for drug users are financed using a fixed financing model that may be supplemented with additional resources allocated via tendering.

Treatment is offered to drug users at various outpatient and inpatient facilities throughout Hungary. Facilities include rehabilitation and therapy centres, psychiatric departments, therapeutic communities and crisis intervention departments. The need to develop outpatient institutions specialising in treatment for drug addicts was identified, and the first services established, in the 1980s. In 2013 some 83 service providers were reported to deliver drug treatment services: 66 outpatient units; 14 inpatient units and 3 treatment units in prisons. Treatment services include specialised drug treatment, specialised addiction treatment or psychiatric treatment in general, social care and quasi-compulsory treatment as an alternative to criminal procedure, provided mostly by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This latter intervention, however, is classed as an indicated prevention measure and does not fall under the healthcare definition. Since 2013 the availability of treatment as an alternative to criminal procedure has been limited to one occasion in a two-year period. Inpatient care is offered by psychiatric departments, departments of addiction, crisis intervention departments and NGOs running therapeutic communities. Drug treatment institutes operating in Hungary have contracts with the National Health Insurance Fund. Long-term rehabilitation is mainly provided by NGOs. The services they deliver are only partially medical or healthcare-related, and are dominated by social and welfare elements such as work therapy and social reintegration. In 2013, a supported housing service was introduced and funded by the state. In 2010 the first four-week online self-help programme was launched for problem cannabis users. Although the programme is available throughout the country, face-to-face consultations, if needed, are offered at Blue Point’s outpatient treatment centres in Budapest.

The first methadone maintenance treatment programme was launched in Hungary in 1994. By 2013 it was available in nine institutions in seven towns. The number of clients in opioid substitution treatment (OST) in 2013 was 786, of whom 612 were on methadone (data from nine of 11 treatment centres). Buprenorphine/naloxone combination treatment was introduced in 2007 and accounted for 174 clients in 2013.

See the Treatment profile for Hungary for additional information.  

Harm reduction responses

A harm reduction approach has been promoted in Hungary for many years. The National Anti-Drug Strategy, which entered into force in 2013, defines harm reduction as an entry point and integrated part of the entire treatment chain operating on the basis of a recovery-based approach. The National Office for Rehabilitation and Social Affairs funds the low-threshold services for PWID through a three-year contract (the current contract covers 2012–14) with service providers selected through a tendering procedure. To be eligible for funding, the applicant should deliver at least two of the following basic services: psychosocial interventions, information and prevention services, street outreach, or drop-in. Needle and syringe exchange must be defined as a complementary service to be eligible for funding. Complementary funding for low-threshold activities may come from local governments and other tendering procedures of ministries. Delays in the tendering process and reductions in the availability of financial resources have affected the availability of injecting equipment and have resulted in reduced operating hours and temporary or permanent closure of programmes since 2012. A number of low-threshold services provide counselling, referral to long-term treatment, social support and legal assistance. Needles and syringes are available across the country through 28 fixed needle and syringe exchange programmes, a mobile unit (Budapest) and 16 street outreach programmes. In four cities, clean needles and syringes are also available from vending machines.

In addition to sterile needles and syringes and counselling on safer injecting, most programmes also provide alcohol pads, condoms and vitamins, and eight locations in 2013 also provided acidifiers. Half of them provide sterile filters, while less than a third distributed sterile mixing containers. Since 2010 some needle and syringe programmes have offered voluntary testing for HIV, HCV and HBV in the framework of the voluntary diagnostic programme coordinated by the National Centre for Epidemiology.

In 2013, about 436 000 syringes were distributed, representing an almost unchanged level of provision compared to 2012 when the number distributed was reduced by 35 % due to reductions in budgets for community-based and low-threshold treatment of drug users. Monitoring data suggest that in Budapest restrictions in opening hours and a limiting of the number of syringes given out per visit have led to an increased frequency of contacts of drug users at NSPs and to the use of multiple NSP sites. A decline in the return rate of used syringes from 71 % in 2012 to 58 % in 2013 may also indicate increased levels of personal re-use or even sharing used injecting equipment. Following the opening of new low-threshold NSP facilities outside Budapest in 2012, more clients were reached in 2013, reflecting improved service coverage in that area.

See the Harm reduction overview for Hungary for additional information.  

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Hungary has traditionally been a transit country for heroin trafficked across the Middle East via the Balkan route to western Europe (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy and France). However, a ‘heroin shortage’ pattern was observed in 2011–12 when very few heroin seizures of relatively small amounts were reported, compared to the period before 2010. This was sustained in 2013.

Nigerian- and Albanian-led criminal groups play a central role in the import, smuggling and distribution of cocaine in Hungary. In recent years the cocaine seized in Hungary had travelled through Spain, Romania or Greece, thus emphasising the increasing importance of the south–north trafficking route. The trend in the quantity of cocaine seized follows an increase–decrease–increase pattern. The first data on cocaine seizures were available in 2000, and the quantity seized increased in the following years, peaking at 94 kg in 2004 and decreasing over the next two years. It then increased again in 2008 and 2009 (23 kg and 20 kg respectively) and declined in 2011–13 (13 kg in 2011 and 2012; 8 kg in 2013). Cannabis is the only illicit drug that is produced domestically, and there are signs of a gradual decrease in production after 2011. Cannabis is also increasingly smuggled into Hungary by Vietnamese-led criminal group from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and recently from the Western Balkan countries. In 2013 herbal cannabis remained the most widely seized drug (2 040 seizures), followed by amphetamines (536) and cannabis plants (196). In 2013 the quantity of herbal cannabis and cocaine seized was less than in 2012. In 2013, the quantity of cannabis resin seized was higher than in 2012, but still below the levels reported in 2009–12. In 2013, record amounts of 74.81 kg and 1 264 tablets of amphetamine were seized. Reported ecstasy seizures were the highest since 2008, and they resulted in 17 664 tablets and 1.63 kg of substance seized.

The share of NPS among all seizure has increased steadily since 2010, and these substances have been involved in more than half of all seizures. In 2013 herbal substances treated with synthetic cannabinoids and cathinone derivates were the most frequently seized substances, with 2 159 and 1 029 seizures respectively.

A laboratory producing amphetamine and three laboratories tableting illicit substances were seized in Hungary during 2013.

In 2013 some 5 545 criminal proceedings concerning the misuse of illicit drugs were registered, an increase compared with 2012 but below the levels reported in 2010–11; in 2009 a lower number of 4 828 cases were registered. As in the previous years, most of the criminal offences were use-related (4 868 cases) and involved cannabis (3 775 cases). It should be noted that in mid-2013 a new Criminal Code entered into force, and therefore all data reported for 2013 should be treated with caution.

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

National drug laws

The new Criminal Code entered into force on 1 July 2013. The drug control sections have been organised to cover trafficking, possession, incitement of minors to use drugs or similar substances, assisting production, precursors, NPS and performance enhancement (doping).

Consumption was re-introduced as a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison (it had been deleted from the 2003 Code). Possession is still punishable by up to two years in prison if involving a small amount, but other penalties are now 1–5 years as a basic offence, increasing to 2–8 years if committed under certain circumstances, and 5–10 and 5–15 years if involving larger quantities. Supply is still punishable by up to two years if involving a small amount (now 1–5 years if committed under certain circumstances), and 2–8 years as a basic offence, rising to 5–10 and now 5–20 years or life if involving certain circumstances or large quantities respectively. Various lower maximum penalties for offences committed by addicts, introduced in 2003, were repealed; however, the court may take the perpetrator’s addiction into consideration when imposing the punishment. The option to suspend prosecution in the case of treatment is available to offenders committing drug-law offences only involving a small quantity (production, manufacture, acquiring, possession for personal use), and cannot be repeated within two years of a previous suspension.

In 2012 a Government Decree set up a formalised rapid assessment that could place an NPS in a new schedule included in Decree 55/2014 of the Minister of Human Capacities since 1 January 2015, temporarily controlled for one year with the possibility of an extension for one more year. Accordingly, a new section of the 2013 Criminal Code provided for punishment of up to three years for manufacture and (since January 2014) 1–5 years for supply and up to three years for possession of more than a small amount (10 g) of NPS. The section penalising incitement of minors to use ‘a substance or agent that has a narcotic effect but is not classified as a drug’ is retained, though the maximum penalty has been reduced from three to two years.

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

National drug strategy

Hungary’s current National Anti-Drug Strategy 2013–20, ‘Clear consciousness, sobriety and fight against drug crime’, was adopted on 16 October 2013 (Parliament Resolution No. 80/2013).

The National Anti-Drug Strategy is based on five core values: the right to life, human dignity and health; personal and community responsibility; community activity; cooperation; and a scientific basis. It establishes objectives and development directions for three areas of intervention: health development and drug prevention; treatment, care and recovery; and supply reduction.

The Strategy also includes implementation criteria for human and social resources such as training, cooperation between institutions, financing, research and international relations, allowing monitoring and evaluation of the tasks. The strategy outlines indicators for monitoring its implementation and the organisations responsible for collecting information.


Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

The Interministerial Coordination Committee on Drug Affairs (CICDA) and the Council on Drug Affairs (CDA) advise the government and report to it on a yearly basis. Chaired by the Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Social Inclusion, the CICDA includes representatives from all relevant ministries and national institutions and (since 2013) the CDA represents NGOs acting in the field.

The National Drug Prevention Coordination Unit, part of the Department for Social and Child Welfare, handles the day-to-day coordination of the drug strategy. It is also tasked with policy development, coordination and implementation, and with overseeing the operation of the CICDA and the CDA.

The National Drug Prevention Office, part of the National Institute for Family and Social Affairs, supports the activities of the Coordination Forums on Drug Affairs (KEFs). It assists the Coordination Forums with programmes in the area of prevention and facilitates drug-related research and information dissemination.

KEFs coordinate activities at the local level. They are committees of 8–10 members (representatives of NGOs, health/law enforcement state services, local government, churches) that collect information, determine the most important risk groups, and define the targets of community-based interventions and options for treatment. KEFs must ensure that information about local services is available. There are 85 of them operating at the local, county and regional level.

Public expenditure

In Hungary there is no specific budget attached to the drug strategy, but every year ministries approve an overall budget that takes into account the main goals of the strategy. However, this budget is estimated by authorities to represent no more than 4–6 % of the total drug-related expenditure. One study (1), following a well-defined methodology, has estimated total drug-related expenditure for four years (2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007).

In 2007 the total drug-related public expenditure (2) represented 0.04 % of gross domestic product (GDP). This total was divided into four main areas: law enforcement (75.3 %), prevention and research (10.5 %), treatment (10.4 %) and harm reduction (3.8 %). Trend analysis shows that between 2000 and 2007 total drug-related expenditure remained stable as a percentage of GDP (between 0.04 % and 0.05 %). Law enforcement absorbed at least 66 % of these funds, while treatment and harm reduction together did not exceed 15 % of the total.

  • (1) G. Hajnal (2009), ‘A kábítószerrel kapcsolatos költségvetési kiadások alakulása 2000 és 2007 között’, in K. Felvinczi and A. Nyírády, Drogpolitika számokban, L’Harmattan, Budapest, pp. 375–409.
  • (2) Some of the funds allocated by governments for expenditure on tasks related to drugs are 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 drug-related expenditures.

Drug-related research

The coordinating body for drug issues in Hungary, the Ministry of Human Resources, also coordinates drug-related research through an open tendering mechanism. The national focal point, which also conducts and initiates research, collects all research reports available in Hungary and disseminates their results via its website and newsletter. Information on the different research institutions and organisations is available here. Research results are usually available from public institutions, sponsors and researchers’ websites. Recent drug-related studies mentioned in the 2014 Hungarian National report focused primarily on the prevalence of drug use and on responses to the drug situation, although studies on the consequences of drug use, supply and markets and methodological issues were also mentioned.

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).

  Year Hungary EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 9 877 365
506 824 509 ep
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 11.9 %  11.3 % bep
25–49 35.6 %  34.7 % bep
50–64 20.5 %  19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2013 66 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2012 21.8 % 29.5 % p Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2014 7.7 % 10.2 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2014 20.4 % 22.2 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2013 184.8  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2013
At risk of poverty rate 5  2013 14.3 % 16.6 % 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) 2010-11 1 0.48 0.2 10.7   2 21
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   5.9% 6% 93%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   2.1% 2% 81%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2013 2 23.0% 6% 42%   18 24
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2013   EUR 38 EUR 25 EUR 158   6 22
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2007   0.4% 0% 4% 2%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2007   0.2% 0% 2% 1% 3 26
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   2.0% 0% 39%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   2.4% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2013   44.0% 20% 75%   19 27
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 57 EUR 47 EUR 103   8 24
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   6.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2007   1.2% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2007   0.5% 0% 1% 1% 13 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   11.6% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   11.6% 0% 22%      
Purity (%) 2013   16.0% 5% 71%   15 25
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 10 EUR 8 EUR 63   5 21
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   4.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2007   1.0% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2007   0.5% 0% 2% 1% 15 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   1.7% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   1.7% 0% 4%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) 2013   84 mg 26 mg 144 mg   12 23
Price per tablet (EUR) 2013   EUR 5 EUR 3 EUR 24   5 19
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   19.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2007   5.7% 0% 22% 12%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2007   2.3% 0% 11% 6% 4 27
All clients entering treatment (%) :   61.0% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) :   70.0% 5% 80%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2013   6.5% 2% 13%   4 22
Potency — resin (%) 2013   12.0% 3% 22%   11 20
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2013   EUR 8 EUR 4 EUR 25   7 19
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2013   EUR 9 EUR 3 EUR 21   10 21
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 2.0 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) 2008-09 3 0.8 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (rate/million) 2013   0.1 0.0 54.5      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 49%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 14% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2013   3.1 1.5 84.1      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2013   435 817 124 406 9 457 256      
Clients in substitution treatment 2013   786 180 172 513      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2013   3 985 289 101 753      
New clients 2013   2 552 19 35 229      
All clients with known primary drug 2013   3 985 287 99 186      
New clients with known primary drug 2013   2 552 19 34 524      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2013   5 545 429 426 707      
Offences for use/possession 2013   4 868 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 - Heroin use. Opiates other than heroin were excluded. Target population: The group in which heroin use occurred at least once in the given two-year period.

2 - Data is for heroin undistinguished and not heroin brown.

3 - Those who injected at least once within the two year covered by the study.

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: Wednesday, 20 January 2016