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Lithuania country overview — a summary of the national drug situation



Lithuania country overview
A summary of the national drug situation

Map of Lithuania

Our partner in Lithuania

Since 2004, the NFP in Lithuania has been situated within the newly established Drug Control Department of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The main responsibilities of the Department include the implementation of national drug programme, as well as information gathering and dissemination. Read more »

Drug, tobacco and alcohol control department

Head of Strategy, monitoring and analysis unit
Lithuanian REITOX National Focal Point coordinator
Šv. Stepono str. 27
LT–01312 VilniusLT-03210 Vilnius
Tel. (370) 5 2130956; (370) 52668060 

Head of focal point: Ms Valerij Dobrovolskij

Our partner in Lithuania

Drug, tobacco and alcohol control department

Head of Strategy, monitoring and analysis unit
Lithuanian REITOX National Focal Point coordinator
Šv. Stepono str. 27
LT–01312 VilniusLT-03210 Vilnius
Tel. (370) 5 2130956; (370) 52668060 

Head of focal point: Ms Valerij Dobrovolskij

Since 2004, the NFP in Lithuania has been situated within the newly established Drug Control Department of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The main responsibilities of the Department include the implementation of national drug programme, as well as information gathering and dissemination. The department operates under the direct leadership of the Prime Minister, and is responsible for relations with international organisations, including the EMCDDA.

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Drug use among the general population and young people

Three national general population surveys on drug use in Lithuania were carried out in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The 2008 and 2012 surveys were carried out in line with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) guidelines, and were conducted among 4 777 and 4 831 randomly selected people aged 15–64 respectively.

The results indicate that cannabis remains the most frequently used illicit substance in Lithuania. Among younger adults (aged 15–34) the lifetime prevalence of cannabis use fell from 21.2 % in 2008 to 17.1 % in 2012. Last year prevalence of cannabis use also declined, from 5.6 % in 2008 to 2.3 % in 2012 for all respondents, and among younger adults from 9.9 % in 2008 to 5.1 % in 2012. Last month prevalence of cannabis use was reported by 1.2 % of all respondents in 2008, and fell to 0.7 % in 2012; among younger adults it was 2.6 % in 2008 and 1.6 % in 2012. Males were four times more likely to report lifetime use of cannabis; however, the gender gap narrowed in younger age groups. In both surveys, ecstasy and amphetamines were respectively the second and the third most prevalent drugs. Similarly to cannabis, reported prevalence for these substances was also lower in 2012 compared to 2008.

Lithuania has participated in the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) since 1995. With the exception of lifetime prevalence rates of inhalants use and heroin, experimentation with illicit drugs increased among students in Lithuania between 1995 and 2007, and the most recent (2011) survey found a further increase in lifetime prevalence rates for cannabis and inhalants use. Data from the 2011 ESPAD survey showed lifetime prevalence of cannabis use, the illicit drug 15- to 16-year-olds most frequently experimented with, was 20 % (18 % in 2007; 13 % in 2003; 12 % in 1999). Results also showed 13 % for last year prevalence of cannabis use (12 % in 2007; 11 % in 2003; 10 % in 1999), and 5 % for last month prevalence (5 % in 2007; 6 % in 2003; 4 % in 1999). Inhalants were the second most frequently reported substance, with lifetime prevalence rates at 7 % (3 % in 2007; 5 % in 2003; 10 % in 1999), followed by amphetamines at 3 % (3 % in 2007; 5 % in 2003; 2 % in 1999). With regard to ecstasy, hallucinogens, cocaine and heroin, the results of the most recent survey indicated a lifetime prevalence of 2 %. Males were almost twice as likely to report lifetime use of cannabis as females.

A study in nightclub settings in five main cities from 2013 indicates that the use of illicit substances among clubbers might be higher than among the general population. More than a third of clubbers have used an illicit substance in the past. Cannabis continues to be the most popular drug among clubbers, followed by cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine.

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

High-risk drug use

Up to 2012 the 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 concept of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adapted. The new concept includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

In 2010, a capture–recapture study based on data from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior was implemented to estimate the number of high-risk opioid users between 2005–07. According to the study, in 2007 there were around 5 458 high-risk opioid users in Lithuania (range: 5 314–5 605), a rate of 2.4 per 1 000 population aged 15–64.

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

Treatment demand

In 2007 a monitoring information system of people who apply to healthcare institutions for mental and behavioural disorders and the use of narcotic and psychotropic substances was established with an Order of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania. However, due to technical, financial and legal delays, the computerised monitoring system was developed in 2012 and data collection started in 2013 according to the EMCDDA Guidelines TDI Protocol v. 2.0. Health service providers are required to complete a statistical form and submit data electronically to the State Mental Health Centre, which is responsible for data analysis and for providing information to national focal point. The national focal point then provides data to the EMCDDA.

In 2013, healthcare institutions reported 2 209 individuals entering treatment and registered with a diagnosis of dependence disorders caused by drugs and psychotropic substances. Of these, 314 were new clients entering treatment for the first time. Data indicate that 87 % of all and 63 % of new treatment clients entered treatment because of primary use of opioids, especially heroin. Other substances had a minor role in the primary problems reported by new treatment clients. According to the country report, injection as main route of drug administration plays an important role, especially among heroin and amphetamines clients. In 2013 the average age of all treatment clients was 33 years, while new treatment clients were on average 31 years old. With regard to gender distribution, 79 % of all and 81 % of new treatment clients were male.

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

Drug-related infectious diseases

In Lithuania the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS at the Ministry of Health (CCDA) collects aggregated nationwide diagnostic data on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. The most recent bio-behavioural seroprevalence study of HIV, HBV and HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID) was carried out in 2007–08. HIV prevalence rates among subgroups of PWID increased to more than 1 % in 1997, yet remained consistently below 5 % until 2001. Testing of clients of harm reduction programmes in 2010 indicated significant geographical variations in HIV prevalence rates, ranging from 0.0 % to 21.4 %, while in 2012 HIV prevalence among 598 tested clients in the Vilnius harm reduction programme was 2.7 %. In 2013 the number of newly reported HIV positive cases increased to 177. Of these, 62 were PWID.

In 2013, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control data, 35 people with acute HBV were registered, and in seven of these cases this was linked to injecting drug use. For the same year, some 59 people with acute HCV were registered and there were six registered acute HCV cases with a known transmission route among PWID. However, for both HBV and HCV the transmission route for a significant proportion of cases remained unknown. Due to the high proportion of cases with unknown causality, the data on HBV and HCV transmission among PWID in Lithuania should be treated with caution. In 2012 HCV prevalence among 598 tested clients in the Vilnius harm reduction programme was 27.6 %.

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

Drug-induced deaths and mortality among drug users

Since 2010 data on drug-induced deaths have been submitted by the General Mortality Register (GMR) of the Institute of Hygiene. Drug-induced deaths are those lethal cases where the direct cause of death recorded on the death certificate is the use of narcotic and psychotropic substances. The national focal point receives full data from the GMR and is able to extract and report data according to the EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

In 2013, some 55 drug-induced deaths were recorded (Definition ‘B’). In 2012 a total of 70 deaths were recorded, an increase in the number of registered deaths after a period between 2007 and 2011 when a decreasing trend in deaths was registered (76 and 45 cases respectively). A total of 54 drug-induced deaths were reported by the national definition in 2013. Most of those cases were male (45 cases) and the mean age at death was 32.3 years. The largest group of deceased were aged 30–34, while the drug-induced deaths mortality rate is the highest among those aged 25–29. Toxicological analyses were reported for all 54 cases in 2013. Opioids were the primary substances involved in 34 of the cases (three of which reported methadone) with known toxicology results, while 20 of deaths were due to mixed or unknown substances.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (15–64) was 27.1 deaths per million in 2013, compared to an European average of 17.2 deaths per million.

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

Treatment responses

Drug treatment in Lithuania is provided mostly by public and private agencies. Coordination, implementation and provision of drug treatment are conducted at the local level. The main funding bodies of the different treatment services are the national budget, national health insurance and municipal budgets. Four regional counties and one municipality financed specialised treatment centres (Centres for Addictive Disorders) at the regional level until end of 2012; however, in 2013 the cost of these centres’ operation was transferred to the state budget.

Outpatient drug treatment is provided by 282 public mental health centres, primary healthcare institutions and through private medical institutions that have obtained a special licence. Outpatient drug treatment is also provided in Centres for Addictive Disorders. There are five regional public specialised Centres for Addictive Disorders, which are located across the country and provide outpatient and inpatient services. These centres offer treatment of one to three months by group psychotherapy, acupuncture and counselling, and they also provide methadone maintenance treatment. Inpatient treatment, such as withdrawal treatment and residential treatment, is delivered by the specialised Centres for Addictive Disorders, while detoxification services are available through toxicological units in general hospitals or in private toxicology centres. Special treatment programmes are available for children who are dependent on psychoactive substances, including two long-term rehabilitation communities. In addition, 22 long-term rehabilitation centres and seven day centres are operating across the country.

Opioid substitution treatment (OST) with methadone has been implemented since 1995, and treatment commenced in three cities in 1996. Buprenorphine treatment has been available since late 2002 throughout specialised mental healthcare institutions, and Suboxon is also registered in the country. The provision of OST is guided by Order No. 702 of the Ministry of Health, which restricts the implementation of methadone and buprenorphine treatment to treatment centres. In 2011 the Order from the Ministry of Health further amended Order No 702, clarifying criteria and procedures for the application of OST, and proposed a procedure for an annual assessment of OST’s effectiveness for clients. OST has been prescribed by a decision of a consultative commission since its initiation in Lithuania; however, in 2014 a decree was adopted that will allow psychiatrists to issue a prescription for the treatment based on indications. As of 1 January 2013 there were 19 healthcare institutions in 12 cities providing the treatment. In 2013 some 592 clients received OST, of which 518 were in methadone maintenance treatment and 74 received buprenorphine-based treatment. Methadone maintenance is continued for clients in police custody; however, it is discontinued if a client is transferred to prison. OST is not available in Lithuanian prisons.

See the Treatment profile for Lithuania for additional information.  

Harm reduction responses

In 1997, the Vilnius Centre for Dependence Diseases, in cooperation with the Open Society Foundation in Lithuania, was the first to commence low-threshold programmes for PWID. A special decree of the Ministry of Health, adopted in 2006, provided a background for the expansion of the programmes and also sets the minimum criteria for services. In 2013 there were 12 low-threshold units, including three mobile outreach needle/syringe distribution and exchange points, operating in nine cities in Lithuania. These programmes were mainly financed by state and municipal budgets, but also received support from other sources of funding. Some programmes were temporarily closed due to budgetary cuts in recent years; however, they have subsequently re-opened.

PWID may exchange needles and syringes, and obtain condoms, disinfectant tissues, bandages and educational/informational material. They may also have a short consultation with a social worker and obtain information about the availability of healthcare and social assistance. However, information and counselling remain the primary focus of the services, which is reflected in a decline in the number of needles and syringes distributed through the centres — in 2013 more than 169 000 syringes were provided, markedly fewer than the 238 745 syringes distributed in 2008. Although pharmacies are a significant source of sterile injecting equipment in many countries, a 2008 study showed high levels of intolerance among Lithuanian pharmacy staff toward PWID and no special harm-reduction programmes have been implemented in cooperation with them as yet. Universal vaccination against HBV has been provided since 2004 to infants and 12-year-old children, while special HBV immunisation programmes for PWID do not exist in the country.

See the Harm reduction overview for Lithuania for additional information.  

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Lithuania is considered a transit country for the trafficking of illicit substances between west European, east European and Scandinavian countries, mainly by land. Methamphetamine is the most common illegal drug produced locally, and small quantities of cannabis are also cultivated in the country, predominantly under artificial conditions. Cannabis products arrive in Lithuania from the Netherlands or Spain, mainly in transit. Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), predominately methamphetamine, are smuggled mainly from the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland en route to Scandinavian countries, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Three ATS production sites (all methamphetamine) were detected in 2013. Heroin is smuggled from Central Asian countries through Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Testing indicates deteriorating purity in the heroin seized in the past few years. Klaipeda, a sea port, remains one of the main entry points for cocaine, although other ways of smuggling the substance by land, postal service and air are increasingly exploited. Most of the cocaine seized in Lithuania is destined for Russia or other European countries. New psychoactive substances arrive from eastern or southern Asian countries, and postal courier services are increasingly used for their transport.

The number of criminal offences related to illicit drug trafficking increased from 959 in 2003, when harsher laws were adopted, to 2 354 in 2012. According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior, more than half of all criminal drug-law offences were linked to the possession of psychotropic substances for purposes other than distributing. Cannabis products remain involved in the largest proportions of all seizures. Although the number of cannabis resin seizures halved in 2013 when compared to 2012 (11 and 23 seizures respectively), the amount of cannabis resin seized in 2013 (1 088 kg) was double the amount reported in 2012 (424 kg). A large amount of this volume was intended for transit. The amount of herbal cannabis seized in 2013 was again larger than that seized in previous years (124.1 kg in 2013; 96 kg in 2012; 43 kg in 2011).

Following 2012, when a record low amount of heroin of 0.5 kg was seized, in 2013 a total of 13.2 kg of heroin was seized, most of which came from one operation. In 2013 there were 12 seizures of amphetamine and 85 seizures of methamphetamine. As a result, 13.05 kg of amphetamine and 58.01 kg of methamphetamine were seized. Cocaine seizures are highly variable, thus in 2012 more than 120 kg of the substance was seized, while in 2013 the total quantity seized was slightly more than 3 kg. It is assumed that cocaine is not popular in Lithuania, and that any large amounts seized are usually intended for transit. Ecstasy was involved in a small number of seizures, and the amount seized has significantly declined in last five years.

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

National drug laws

The penal code entered into force in May 2003, with further changes in 2010 to tighten custodial sentences. Possession of even a small amount of illicit drugs with no intent to distribute is a criminal offence, with a sentence of up to two years’ imprisonment. (This is also listed as an administrative offence, but the penal code takes priority.) Drug traffickers may be sentenced to between two and eight years’ imprisonment, which increases to 8–10 and then 10–15 years, depending on the quantities involved and the presence of aggravating circumstances (such as the involvement of minors or an organised group). A Ministry of Health Regulation defines small, large and very large quantities of all drugs.

In 2009 an administrative penalty was introduced for offences related to the presence of intoxicated workers at workplaces.

New psychoactive substances are regulated through amendments of the List of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Prohibited to Use For Medical Purposes. In 2010–12, for example, 18 new substances or substance groups were added to this list.

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

National drug strategy

The National Programme on Drug Control and Prevention of Drug Addiction, 2010–16 was endorsed by the Lithuanian Parliament on 10 November 2010. The overarching goal of the programme is to reduce the supply and demand for illicit drugs and psychotropic substances and their precursors, and the spread of drug addiction, by strengthening individual and public education, health and safety. Several priorities are included in the national programme addressing: drug demand reduction among children and youth in particular; drug supply reduction; drug use monitoring; information; and coordination and international cooperation. The programme is constructed around two pillars covering the areas of supply and demand reduction and two cross-cutting themes focus on coordination and cooperation, and information and research. It is primarily concerned with illicit drugs.


Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

On 1 April 2011 the Drug Control Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (originally established on 1 January 2004) was absorbed into the new Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department. Among the central tasks of the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department are: participate in formulating public policy on drugs, tobacco and alcohol control and organise its implementation; coordinate and monitor the activities of national authorities involved in precursor chemical, tobacco and alcohol control; prepare national alcohol, tobacco, drug control and prevention programmes and coordinate their implementation; organise and coordinate the risk assessment of new psychoactive substances; perform the licensing of the wholesale production of tobacco and alcohol and the licensing of precursors; and function as the Reitox national focal point in the EMCDDA’s Reitox network.

As a result of the merger of the Drug Control Department and the State Tobacco and Alcohol Control Service, the functions of the latter institution also became the responsibility of the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department. In 2008 the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania formed a Parliamentary Commission for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Addiction, which in 2013 consisted of 12 parliamentarians. The objectives of the commission are, inter alia, to safeguard the interests of the government and to provide favourable conditions for the implementation of national policies on drug and alcohol prevention and control. It is tasked with formulating national policies and strategies in the areas of drug and alcohol prevention and control and drafting drug control laws. Drugs and drug addiction are also discussed by parliamentary committees and commissions, such as the Committee for Health Affairs and the Commission for Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Addiction.

The National Health Council, which operated under the Statute of the Parliament, is one of several bodies that coordinate drug control policy formulation and the implementation process.

Each of the 60 municipalities has a Municipality Drug Control Commission. These usually consist of representatives of local institutions (police, education institutions, doctors, social workers, etc.), and the chairman is usually the mayor or vice-mayor. These municipal commissions coordinate different actions, such as prevention, treatment and harm reduction.

Public expenditure

A multi-annual budget was associated to Lithuania’s Action Plan for 1999–2003. The Action Plan for 2004–08 had no such budget. However, in that period the government defined a detailed budget each year. Between 2008 and 2010 information on drug-related public expenditures was fragmented, but in 2011 the government started to associate an annual budget to the Lithuanian Interagency Activity Plan (2011–13). In 2013 the government allocated EUR 1 159 000 to the Lithuanian Action Plan 2010–16, while in 2014 the planed budget was EUR 678 000.

In 2008, labelled drug-related expenditures (1) were estimated to represent 0.02 % of gross domestic product (GDP). Most planned expenditures were allocated to treatment and rehabilitation (50.9 %), followed by prevention (18.4 %), law enforcement (17.7 %) and coordination and research activities (13.0 %) (Table 1). After 2011 the overall annual budget approved at the beginning of every fiscal year for drug-related expenditure declined as a proportion of GDP, from 0.013 % GDP in 2011 to an estimated 0.002 % in 2013. The budget foreseen for 2014 is planned to decline further.

Table 1: Drug-related public expenditure, 2013
  Expenditure (thousand EUR) % of total(a)

(a) EMCDDA estimations.

Source: National annual report of Lithuania (2009)

Areas of drug policy interventions    

Treatment and rehabilitation

 3 081 50.9
Prevention 1 112 18.4
Law enforcement  1 072 17.7
Coordination, scientific research, development of the information system 783 13.0
6 048 100.0
% of GDP
0.02 %     
  • (1) 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

Scientific research and the development of information systems and training on research are two priorities within the national programme on drug addiction, prevention and control. Research is mainly funded by relevant ministries and public authorities. The Lithuanian National Focal Point has a mandate to develop methodological recommendations in the drugs area. It also conducts population surveys and collects information from several governmental, academic and NGO sources on drug-related research, which is disseminated through its annual National report and website. Recent drug-related studies mentioned in the latest National reports mainly focused on the prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug use, responses to the drug situation and consequences of drug use.

See Drug-related research for more detailed information. 

Key national figures and statistics

b Breal 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   EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 2 943 472
506 824 509 ep
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 13.3 % 11.3 % bep Eurostat
25–49  33.1 % 34.7 % bep
50–64  20.6 % 19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2013 73 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2012 16.5 % p 29.5 % p Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2014 10.7 % 10.2 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2014 19.3 % 22.2 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2013 323.7  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2013
At risk of poverty rate 5  2013 20.6 % 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) 2007 1 2.36 0.2 10.7   11 21
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   86.8% 6% 93%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   62.8% 2% 81%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2013 2 18.0% 6% 42%   12 24
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2013   EUR 59 EUR 25 EUR 158   14 22
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   0.3% 0% 4% 2%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.2% 0% 2% 1% 3 26
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.6% 0% 39%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   1.8% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2013   43.0% 20% 75%   18 27
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 64 EUR 47 EUR 103   12 24
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   3.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   0.5% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.2% 0% 1% 1% 5 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   3.4% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   10.0% 0% 22%      
Purity (%) 2013   15.0% 5% 71%   14 25
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 9 EUR 8 EUR 63   4 21
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   0.3% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.2% 0% 2% 1% 3 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.0% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.0% 0% 4%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) 2013   35 mg 26 mg 144 mg   3 23
Price per tablet (EUR) 2013   EUR 5 EUR 3 EUR 24   4 19
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   20.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   5.1% 0% 22% 12%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   2.3% 0% 11% 6% 4 27
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   2.9% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   11.7% 5% 80%      
Potency — herbal (%) :   : 2% 13%      
Potency — resin (%) :   : 3% 22%      
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2013   EUR 11 EUR 4 EUR 25   14 19
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2013   EUR 10 EUR 3 EUR 21   13 21
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 2.0 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (rate/million) 2013   20.9 0.0 54.5      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 49%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 14% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2013   18.2 1.5 84.1      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2013   168 943 124 406 9 457 256      
Clients in substitution treatment 2013   592 180 172 513      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2013   2 209 289 101 753      
New clients 2013   341 19 35 229      
All clients with known primary drug 2013   2 209 287 99 186      
New clients with known primary drug 2013   341 19 34 524      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2013   2 354 429 426 707      
Offences for use/possession 2013   1 411 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 - Long duration/regular use of opioids, multiple drug use, other psychoactive substances. Estimated proportion of opioid users >90%.

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

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, 16 February 2016