• EN

Spain country overview — a summary of the national drug situation



Spain country overview
A summary of the national drug situation

Map of Spain

Our partner in Spain

The Spanish national focal point is located within the Delegación del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas, a government organisation under the auspice of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. The Delegación del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas is entrusted with coordination of different aspects of drug policy, ranging from drug trafficking to responses to the drug problem. Read more »

Our partner in Spain

Delegacíon del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas (Government Delegation to the National Plan on Drugs - DGPND)

Plaza de España, 17
E-28008 Madrid
Tel. +34 91 822 61 25
Fax +34 91 822 60 95

Head of focal point: Mr Francisco de Asís Babín Vich

The Spanish national focal point is located within the Delegación del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas, a government organisation under the auspice of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. The Delegación del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas is entrusted with coordination of different aspects of drug policy, ranging from drug trafficking to responses to the drug problem.

E-mail addresses have been inserted in a way discouraging spam. Please replace [a] by @ before actually using any of the e-mail addresses.

Drug use among the general population and young people

A general population survey on drug use (EDADES) among people aged 15–64 living in family households has been carried out in Spain on a biennial basis since 1995. The latest survey was carried out in 2013 with a sample of 23 136 respondents. The survey found that cannabis was the most commonly used illicit substance in Spain, with 30.4 % of the respondents reporting lifetime use, followed by cocaine at 10.3 %, ecstasy at 4.3 % and amphetamines at 3.8 %. There are some indications that the prevalence of recent use for most illicit substances has declined slightly since 2009. In 2013, last year prevalence of cannabis use was 9.2 % (9.6 % in 2011; 10.6 % in 2009), and last month prevalence was 6.6 % (7.0 % in 2011; 7.6 % in 2009). Last year use of cocaine declined from 2.7 % in 2009 to 2.2 % in 2013, while experimentation was 1.3 % 2009 and 1.0 % in 2013. Reported prevalence of recent ecstasy and amphetamine use did not change significantly in the period 2009–13 and their use has remained at low levels. Prevalence of illicit substance use is higher in younger age groups. Thus lifetime prevalence of cannabis use was 40.2 % among young adults (aged 15–34), which indicates a slight increase between 2011 and 2013 and might highlight that ‘experimentation’ with cannabis has become more ‘habitual’ among today’s younger generation. However, continuity of use is fairly low. Only 17 % had used cannabis within the last year, and 12.2 % within the last month. Those aged 15–24 were the most frequent users of cannabis in the last month (14.7 % in 2011 and 2013). There are also indications that although the overall prevalence of cannabis use seems to be declining, those who continue to use it do so almost daily. Recent use of cocaine is also most prevalent among those aged 15–34, while in general reported lifetime prevalence of cocaine base and heroin use was higher among people over the age of 34. Use of all illicit substances remains more prevalent among males than females. The study indicates the prevalence of use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) remained stable between 2011–13, with 3 % of adults reporting ever having used them and with the highest prevalence rates among respondents aged 25–34. As with other illicit substances, the use of new psychoactive drugs was reported by more males than females.

The use of illicit psychoactive drugs is concentrated in sub-groups of people who have often used several different drugs in a given period. Polydrug use remains a very common consumption pattern, with about half of those who used psychoactive substances reporting having used two or more substances in a given period, with licit drugs (particularly alcohol) almost always present, and with greater prevalence among those aged 18 and over.

The most recent national survey on drug use among students aged 14–18 (ESTUDES) was conducted in 2012. It found that the most commonly used illicit drug was cannabis, with lifetime prevalence of 33.6 %, compared to 33.0 % in 2010. Lifetime prevalence rates for other illicit drugs were 3.6 % for cocaine, 3.1 % for hallucinogens and ecstasy, 2.4 % for amphetamines and 1.0 % for heroin. Use of cannabis in the last 30 days was reported by 16.1 % of the sample. The study also measured the use of NPS, and found lifetime prevalence was 4 %. The use of NPS was more prevalent among males than females and increased after the age of 16.

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). View details here.

In 2012 it was estimated that there were at least 69 998 high-risk heroin users in Spain (range: 56 104–83 851). This corresponds to a rate of 2.1 (range: 1.7–2.6) per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64. The estimated number of recent injectors in Spain ranged between 9 669–14 061, or 0.30 to 0.44 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64, with a central estimate of 11 865 (a rate of 0.38 per 1 000 inhabitants). The estimates indicate a decline in the number of high-risk heroin users and injecting drug users in Spain.

Based on the 2013 general population survey, the estimated number of high-risk cocaine (powder) users was 92 406 (range: 70 378–114 434), or 2.91 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64 (range: 2.22–3.61).

Data from the same general population survey suggest that 2.56 % of 15- to 64-year-olds in Spain use cannabis daily or almost daily.

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

Treatment demand

The treatment demand indicator is a registry, established in 1987, that gathers data on specialised drug treatment admissions in Spain. The data are collected from each region and collated at the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs. In 2012 the data on treatment demand was gathered from 478 outpatient treatment centres and 29 treatment units in prisons.

A total of 49 678 clients entered treatment in 2012, which is a decline when compared to 2008–11 data. Of these, 25 209 were new clients entering treatment for the first time. The data on people entering drug treatment showed that cocaine (chlorhydrate and/or crack) was the primary drug for 39 % of all treatment clients, followed by cannabis at 30 % and opioids at 27 %. Among new treatment clients, 44 % were treated for cannabis, 40 % for cocaine and 11 % for opioids. In Spain there has been a gradual decline in opioid-related treatment demands from the early 2000s, and in recent years the number of cocaine-related treatment demands has also decreased, although it remains the substance generating the largest proportion of treatment demands among all treatment clients. Against this background, a progressive and significant increase in cannabis-related demands has been observed, and in 2012 treatment demands due to cannabis use exceeded the demands due to opioids and, for the first time, became the leading cause of new treatment demands.

Injecting drug use has fallen dramatically in the past 30 years among those admitted to treatment, regardless of their primary substance. Thus in 2012, among all opioid users admitted to treatment, only 18 % injected the drug, while among new treatment clients who primarily used opioids the proportion of injectors was 11 %.

In 2012, the mean age of all treatment clients was 34 years, while new treatment clients were on average 31 years old. In terms of gender distribution, 84 % of all and also of new clients were male and 16 % were female.

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

Drug-related infectious diseases

The National AIDS Registry collects data on diagnosed acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases in Spain. The registry also provides data on the cause of infection, including information on injecting drug use among diagnosed AIDS cases. In the last 20 years human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS infection have represented one of the main health problems associated with drug use in Spain. However, since the end of 1990s a significant decrease has been observed in HIV infections associated with injecting drug use. The data from the National AIDS Registry show that the proportion of AIDS cases that can be attributed to injecting drug use declined from 69.7 % in 1990 to 25 % in 2012. New HIV infections are compiled in the Information System on New HIV Diagnoses. Regarding new HIV infections, 145 new HIV cases were diagnosed among people who inject drugs (PWID) in 2013. The number of new HIV cases among PWID and the proportion of new HIV cases attributed to injecting drug use also declined significantly from 2004 to 2012. This decrease might be related to the improvement in access to, and availability of, maintenance treatments with methadone and the notable decrease in injecting drug use compared to other consumption patterns.

In 2012 the national overall prevalence of HIV infection among PWID (ever injectors), using data on drug treatment demand, was 33.1 % of 5 957 people tested, indicating a slight downward trend since 2006 and stabilisation of HIV prevalence rates among this population since 2010.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have not been systematically monitored among Spain’s drug-using population to date. However, implementation of the new protocol for Treatment Demand Indicator 3.0 will enable the Spanish Observatory on Drugs and Drug Addiction to report on HBV and HCV among treatment entrants starting from 2014. To date, data from different published studies indicates that 73.3–85.9 % of PWID might be infected with HCV, while up to 22.5 % might be infected with HBV.

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

Drug-induced deaths and mortality among drug users

Since 1983 the Special Registry of Mortality due to Acute Reaction to Drugs (SR), based on forensic and toxicological sources, has collected data on deaths caused by acute reactions to drugs in specific geographical areas (administered by the Spanish National Focal Point). In 2012 a total of 17 autonomous communities (out of 19) provided data to the SR. Data is collected on deaths with judicial intervention where the direct and main cause is an acute adverse reaction after a non-medical and deliberate use of psychoactive substances (excluding alcohol and tobacco) amongst those aged 15–49. From 2003 onward the age group registered has been expanded to cover those aged 10–64. In 2012 the SR registered 519 drug-related deaths. Opioids are the illicit substances identified in the largest proportion of deaths; however, a decline in the prevalence of opioids in acute deaths cases was noted from 1983 to 2008, with some stabilisation thereafter. In 2012 cocaine was the third most prevalent substance identified in acute death cases, following hypnosedatives, which were the second most frequently detected substance. In 2012, a slight rebound of cocaine-induced deaths was observed when compared to data from 2011.

In addition to the SR, the Spanish General Mortality Register (GMR), managed by the National Statistics Institute, also provides information on deaths related to drug use. Data extraction and reporting is in line with the EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

In 2012 the GMR registered 383 drug-induced deaths, of which 324 were males. The average age of victims was 39.5 years. However, this registry is believed to underestimate the number of drug-induced deaths when compared with the registered figures in the SR.

According to the GMR, the number of deaths due to an acute reaction to drugs fell between 1999 and 2001, remained stable until 2005 at approximately 670, and has since resumed a downward trend.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15–64) is 12.2 deaths per million in 2012, lower than the European average of 17.2 deaths per million.

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

Treatment responses

In Spain the overall policy for drug treatment is guided by the National Drug Strategy for 2009–16, which is implemented by means of two Four-Year Action Plans for 2009–12 and 2013–16.

At the same time, implementation, management and evaluation of the resources and programmes for providing care for drug users come under the authority of the 17 autonomous communities (regions) and two autonomous cities. Each region is entitled to organise and deliver health interventions according to its own plans, budgets and personnel. Some have integrated treatment for drug abuse disorders within primary care units, some within mental health services, and some have a separate treatment network that retains a connection with the general healthcare system. As a general rule, care is organised on three levels. The level of primary healthcare acts as gatekeeper, the secondary level provides integrated treatment services, and tertiary level care units supply highly specialised and long-term care, such as detoxification or residential treatment.

The Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs, based within the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality, is responsible for monitoring and collecting data at the national level on the above-mentioned activities.

The public sector is the primary provider of treatment, followed by non-government organisations (NGOs) and private organisations. Drug treatment is mostly funded by the public budget of the central government, autonomous communities and cities and by some municipalities, usually the big cities.

A specific drug dependence care network is widely distributed throughout the country. Therapeutic provision comprises outpatient and inpatient treatment networks.

The outpatient network includes low-threshold services (including 12 supervised drug consumption facilities, 52 social emergency centres and 36 mobile units) and 527 specialised drug treatment centres, which are the most numerous facilities and constitute the backbone of the treatment system and mental health units. A team of multidisciplinary staff usually manage clients in outpatient settings, providing psychosocial treatment, case management and referral to other services. Screening of clients’ mental health, and mental health services, are available to lesser extent, while part of these services provides outreach for clients in the community.

The inpatient network includes 60 hospital detoxification units, 40 support apartments for treatment and social reintegration, therapeutic communities (the most numerous and characteristic facility within the network, in total about 129), and 82 penitentiary centres.

Opioid substitution treatment (OST) is available at about 2 000 specialised outpatient centres, at other health and mental health centres, at inpatient facilities and in prisons. Pharmacies are involved in dispensing medication to patients. According to the amended Spanish Royal Decree 5/1996, methadone and buprenorphine treatment can be initiated by specialised medical doctors and treatment centres. Quality standards and monitoring systems for clients in OST exist at the level of the autonomous communities, and data are reported to the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs.

Methadone was introduced and licensed as a treatment in 1990. The latest available estimate of the total number of patients in methadone maintenance treatment in 2012 was 69 111, and it is free for clients.

The buprenorphine/naloxone combination is offered by the National Health Service, but is mainly used at low doses for clients who were stabilised on methadone. In 2012 around 2 166 clients were receiving this treatment. Clients receiving the buprenorphine/naloxone combination must partially cover the commercial costs of the medication.

See the Treatment profile for Spain for additional information.  

Harm reduction responses

The reduction of drug-related risk and harm is one of the principal objectives of the National Drug Strategy for 2009–16. Particular focus is given to activities that facilitate contacts with drug injectors, provide information and education, and promote behaviour and practice change. National priorities for the prevention of infectious diseases among drug users include support to needle and syringe programmes (NSPs), voluntary counselling and testing for infections, and hepatitis vaccination programmes.

Harm reduction services are provided by a large public network of facilities, including social emergency centres, mobile units, pharmacies and prisons.

Most harm reduction programmes include a socio-sanitary service that offers preventive educational interventions, overdose prevention activities, sterile injecting material, testing for drug-related infections, vaccination against hepatitis A and B virus infections and emergency care and assistance to injecting drug users who are not usually in contact with any assistance intervention. In 2013 the needle and syringe programmes distributed more than 2.7 million syringes. Twelve facilities for supervised drug consumption were available in the Autonomous Communities of Catalonia and the Basque country. In 2012 these facilities served almost six thousand clients.

See the Harm reduction overview for Spain for additional information.  

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Due to its geographical position, Spain is one of the countries in the European Union most targeted by international drug traffickers, especially for cannabis and cocaine transit to other European countries. According to information from law enforcement agencies, seized cocaine generally originates from the Andean countries of South America and is destined for other European countries; practically all seized cannabis resin comes from territories under Moroccan control; heroin comes from Afghanistan via Turkey and the Balkan route; and synthetic drugs are smuggled into Spain from the Netherlands and Belgium. Cannabis is the only substance cultivated in Spain, and there are indications that its production has increased since 2009, and is intended to cover the local demand as well as for trafficking to other EU countries.

Data on the number and quantity of drug seizures are reported by the Criminal and Terrorism Intelligence Central Unit at the Ministry of Interior (CITCO). Overall, the number of drug seizures has increased over the past decade, and cannabis products remain the illicit substances most frequently seized in Spain. However, in 2013 the most noticeable increase was reported for the number of amphetamines seizures and quantity of the seized substances. A total of 3 412 seizures involved amphetamines, and 370 kg of amphetamine sulphate and 506 986 tablets of the substance were seized. In 2013, five laboratories were dismantled in Spain, of which two had been set up for manufacture of amphetamines, two for the secondary extraction of cocaine and one for the production of heroin. The quantity of herbal cannabis seized in 2013 was slightly more than in 2012, less than the record high quantity of 17 535 kg seized in 2011 and more than the amounts seized during 1998–2010. The quantity of cannabis resin seized indicates a continuous decrease since 2008, with a record low q in 2013 of 319 257 kg. In 2013, a total of 176 879 cannabis plants were seized, which is the fifth highest number seized among the EU member states in 2013. With regard to cocaine, the total number of seizures and quantities seized were at the level of 2012, with the amounts seized being higher than in 2011, but below the amounts seized before 2010. The number of heroin seizures increased slightly in 2013 when compared to 2012, with quantities seized of 291 kg and 282 kg respectively. Following an increase in the number of ecstasy tablets seized in 2010 (634 628 tablets), the number of tablets seized fell almost threefold in 2011 (183 028 tablets), slightly increased in 2012 (279 652) and decreased to 154 732 tablets in 2013.

In 2013, a total of 424 167 people were charged with drug-law offences (for trafficking, possession and use), of which 86 % were cannabis offences, followed by 10 % cocaine offences and 2 % heroin offences.

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

National drug laws

The Law on the Protection of Citizens’ Security (1992) establishes drug consumption in public and illegal possession as serious order offences punishable by administrative sanctions, primarily fines of EUR 300–30 000. In 2010 the organic law enacted amendments to the penal code in reference to drug-related provisions. Fines are the usual punishment, but the law anticipates that the execution of the fine can be suspended if the person freely attends an official drug treatment programme. Spanish law lays down penalties for trafficking in line with the seriousness of the health damages associated with the drugs and any aggravating and mitigating circumstances that may exist, such as selling to minors under 18 or the sale of large quantities. Sentences can be between 1–3 years if the drugs do not cause serious health damage, and, in line with the amendments enacted in 2010, up to six years when they do. When aggravating circumstances exist, penalties can be up to 20 years and 3 months in prison. In all cases, a fine is also imposed. In 2011 the Royal Decree 840 set out a procedure for the suspension of enforcement of prison sentences of five years and less for those sentenced for offences committed due to the use of illicit substances in cases when the offender agrees to participate in a treatment programme.

In 2011 a Royal Decree was adopted establishing the procedure to consider a substance as a narcotic drug at the national level.

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

National drug strategy

The National Drug Strategy for 2009–16 is comprehensive and focuses on illicit drugs, alcohol and other substances. It is built around four pillars: (i) prevention; (ii) risk reduction and harm reduction; (iii) treatment and social reintegration; (iv) supply reduction; and is supported by four cross-cutting or transversal areas: (i) improvement of scientific knowledge; (ii) training; (iii) international cooperation; (iv) coordination; and (v) evaluation. The strategy has 14 objectives, including: reducing the use of legal and illegal drugs; delaying the age of first contact with drugs; guaranteeing quality assistance adapted to the needs of all people affected by drug use; reducing or limiting the harm caused to drug users’ health; and facilitating their social integration.

The second Four-Year Action Plan to implement the strategy covers the period 2013–16. Following a multi-stakeholder consultation process the Action Plan was centred around four overarching principles: (i) making sure resources are efficient and optimised; (ii) establishing coordination with participator leadership; (iii) ensuring quality; (iv) making sure actions are feasible. Thirty-two individual actions are designed to support the implementation of these four principles into practice. In particular, the current Action Plan places an emphasis on ‘a transversal vision with a gender approach, incorporating the specific needs of women in all the actions and interventions proposed’.Spain also developed a specific Action Programme Against Cocaine 2007–10, structured around four main areas: coordination; demand reduction; international cooperation; and supply control. By the programme’s conclusion at the end of 2010, some 520 actions had been undertaken within its framework.

At the regional level, all of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities have developed regional strategies that address drug dependency issues. In 2011 Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country launched revised strategies, while Navarre developed a new document in 2012.


Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

In Spain, drug policy is coordinated by an inter-ministerial group chaired by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, and including the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Justice, the Interior, Education, Work and Immigration and Territorial Policy and Public Administration, as well as several Secretaries of State. The secretary of this inter-ministerial group is the Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs.

The Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs carries out the function of coordinating the different institutions at the central administrative, regional/autonomous community and local administrative levels that are included in the National Plan on Drugs. The role has the status of a Directorate-General and reports to the General Secretary for Social Policy of the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality. The Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs is the national coordinator of drug policy in Spain.

The sectoral conference (at the political level) of the National Plan on Drugs is the means of cooperation between the central government and the administrations of the autonomous communities and cities. Chaired by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, it is made up of the Inter-ministerial Group and the Regional Ministers of the Departments of the Autonomous Regions, which have been assigned responsibility for drug policy in their respective territories.

The Inter-autonomic Commission (management scope), chaired by the Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, reports to the sector conference, which is made up of all the deputy directors-general of the government delegation and those responsible for the regional drug plans (commonly known as regional drug commissioners).

There is a drug commissioner in each of the 17 autonomous communities and in two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla). They communicate with the Government Delegation through their participation in the Inter-autonomic Commission and the sector conference.

The Joint Congress–Senate Commission for the Study of the Drug Problem consists of members from both chambers in the Spanish Parliament (Congress of Deputies and Senate). It writes reports on drug issues and makes proposals to the government in this area.

Public expenditure

In Spain the National Drug Strategy and Action Plans have no associated budgets and there is no review of executed expenditure. One study looked at the social costs of drug use and included an estimate of drug-related expenditure (1). The study did not, however, distinguish between public and private expenditure.Spanish authorities provide a partial estimate of drug-related public expenditure by central government and the autonomous regions (communities and cities) every year. However, the estimate does not cover all sectors and includes mostly labelled expenditure (2). Comparability over time is limited because reporting entities and data collection methods have changed.In 2012 labelled drug-related public expenditure was estimated to represent 0.04 % of gross domestic product (GDP) (Table 1). Most of the funds (61%) were spent by the autonomous communities and cities, and the central government spent 39 %. In the autonomous regions, 81.4 % was spent on treatment, 12.98 % on prevention and the rest on research and institutional cooperation. Estimates for the total expenditure by local government are not available.The available information does not allow the total size and trends in drug-related public expenditures to be reported.

Table 1: Labelled drug-related public expenditure, 2012
Government levels Expenditure (thousand EUR) % of total
(a) EMCDDA calculations.
Source: National annual report of Spain (2013)

Autonomous communities and cities

223 309 61 (a)
Central government 139 900 39 (a)
363 208 100 (a)
% of GDP
0.04 %     
  • (1) A. Garcia-Altes, J. M. Olle, F. Anoñanzas and J. Colom (2002), ‘The social cost of illegal drug consumption in Spain’, Addiction 97, pp. 1145–53.
  • (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

In Spain, biomedical research and health sciences are important aspects of the national research and development plan. This effort is funded through the general state budget and prioritises, amongst other areas, further exploration into knowledge on addiction neurobiology. The plan also stresses the importance of identifying behavioural, sociological and environmental risk factors and their interaction (community epidemiology), and prioritises the application of ‘quality’ to clinical practice. University departments and research networks are the main actors in undertaking drug-related research, while the management of public funds and coordination are carried out through the Carlos III Health Institute, the Spanish Network on Addictive Disorders and the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs. National scientific journals and specialised websites are the main channels for national dissemination of drug-related research findings. Recent drug-related studies mentioned in the 2014 Spanish National report mainly focused on aspects related to the prevalence, incidence and patterns of drug use.

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   EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 46 512 199
506 824 509 ep Eurostat
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 9.7 %  11.3 % bep
25–49 38.2 %  34.7 % bep
50–64 18.7 %  19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2013 94 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2012 25.9 % p 29.5 % p Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2014 24.5 % 10.2 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2014 53.2 % 22.2 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2013 148.0  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2013
At risk of poverty rate 5  2013 20.4 % 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) 2012 1 2.18 0.2 10.7   8 21
All clients entering treatment (%) 2012   26.8% 6% 93%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2012   11.4% 2% 81%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2013   28.5% 6% 42%   21 24
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2013   EUR 57 EUR 25 EUR 158   12 22
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) :   : 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   3.3% 0% 4% 2%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   2.2% 0% 2% 1% 25 26
All clients entering treatment (%) 2012   39.2% 0% 39%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2012   40.2% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2013   39.0% 20% 75%   13 27
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 57 EUR 47 EUR 103   9 24
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) :   : 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   1.2% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   0.6% 0% 1% 1% 15 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2012   1.0% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2012   1.2% 0% 22%      
Purity (%) :   : 5% 71%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 27 EUR 8 EUR 63   15 21
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) :   : 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   1.5% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   0.7% 0% 2% 1% 19 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2012   0.3% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2012   0.4% 0% 4%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) :   : 26 mg 144 mg      
Price per tablet (EUR) 2013   EUR 11 EUR 3 EUR 24   15 19
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) :   : 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   17.0% 0% 22% 12%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   9.2% 0% 11% 6% 26 27
All clients entering treatment (%) 2012   29.9% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2012   43.6% 5% 80%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2013   10.8% 2% 13%   18 22
Potency — resin (%) 2013   14.5% 3% 22%   13 20
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2013   EUR 5 EUR 4 EUR 25   3 19
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2013   EUR 6 EUR 3 EUR 21   3 21
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 2.0 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) 2012 2 0.4 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (rate/million) 2013   3.1 0.0 54.5      
HIV prevalence (%) 2012   33.1% 0% 49%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 14% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2012   8.2 1.5 84.1      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2013   2 684 251 124 406 9 457 256      
Clients in substitution treatment 2013   69 111 180 172 513      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2012   49 678 289 101 753      
New clients 2012   25 209 19 35 229      
All clients with known primary drug 2012   49 678 287 99 186      
New clients with known primary drug 2012   25 209 19 34 524      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2013   426 707 429 426 707      
Offences for use/possession 2013   397 713 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 - Problematic heroin users.

2 - Drug injectors (last 12 months) admitted to drug treatment (TDI), in OST and in outpatient treatment in 2012 and General Population Survey EDADES 2013 (drug injectors nominees stating they had started on drug treatment).

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, 16 December 2015