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Sweden country overview — a summary of the national drug situation



Sweden country overview
A summary of the national drug situation

Map of Sweden

Our partner in Sweden

The Swedish national focal point is located within the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which has the responsibility for national public health issues. The agency promotes good public health by building and disseminating knowledge to health care professionals and others responsible for infectious disease control and public health. Read more »

Folkhälsomyndigheten / Public Health Agency of Sweden

Forskarens väg 3
S-831 40 Östersund
Tel. +46 102052000

Head of focal point: Mr Joakim Strandberg, PhD

Our partner in Sweden

Folkhälsomyndigheten / Public Health Agency of Sweden

Forskarens väg 3
S-831 40 Östersund
Tel. +46 102052000

Head of focal point: Mr Joakim Strandberg, PhD

The Swedish national focal point is located within the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which has the responsibility for national public health issues. The agency promotes good public health by building and disseminating knowledge to health care professionals and others responsible for infectious disease control and public health.
The agency was established on January 1, 2014 and is a merger of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet) and the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet). Most of the work concerning environmental health and the responsibility for environment and public health reports at the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) was also transferred to the new agency.

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Drug use among the general population and young people

An annual public health survey has been carried out in Sweden since 2004 among 20 000 randomly selected adults aged 16–84 (with a response rate of around 50 %). It includes a question on cannabis use, which enables the trend in cannabis use in Sweden to be described, rather than year-to-year differences. The latest data are available form 2012. An analysis of the entire time series shows that the trend is stable at the same level for both sexes, in terms of both experimental use and more regular use among a sub-sample of 16- to 64-year-olds. Lifetime prevalence for males was higher at the start of the time series (17.6 % in 2004) and at the end (18.5 % in 2009; 18 % in 2010; 17.2 % in 2011; 17.5 % in 2012). Lifetime, last year and last month prevalence were significantly higher for younger ages than for the whole adult population, and the trend indicates a significantly increasing proportion of younger individuals reporting lifetime use of cannabis. This increase has been noticeably greater among those living in larger cities. There are substantial gender differences in cannabis use. Women are significantly less likely to report the use of cannabis and this pattern is consistent over time and between age groups. At the same time among females, lifetime prevalence was higher at the end of the time series (10.4 % in 2010; 11 % in 2011; 12.2 % in 2012). Last year and last month prevalence of cannabis use was considerably lower than lifetime prevalence for both genders, but indicated a fairly stable trend, with males reporting higher cannabis use prevalence rates than females. Lifetime prevalence was the highest among 16- to 34-year-old males, reaching 23.6 % in 2012. An increase in lifetime prevalence was noted among 16- to 34-year-old females between 2008 and 2012 (13.5 % in 2008 and 20.7 % in 2012). Last year prevalence of cannabis use among males aged 16–34 varied over the period of observation between 5.8 % and 9.8 %, while for females it varied between 2.5 % and 5.7 %. Last month prevalence of cannabis use was highest among males aged 16–24 (44.5 % in 2012).

In 2013, a cross-sectional study of substance use was conducted in a nationally representative sample of the population with a sample size of 11 206 respondents aged 17–64. Similar to other studies, cannabis is the most commonly used drug, followed by amphetamines and cocaine. Males and females aged 17–24 reported more frequent use of cannabis and other illicit substances in the last year and last 30 days than did older respondents.

A large-scale postal survey on the use of illicit drugs was conducted among 58 000 inhabitants in 2008. Although this survey contained questions about other substances (alcohol, tobacco, steroids), the main focus of the questions was the use of illicit drugs, in terms of type (category options were cannabinoids, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, ecstasy, hallucinogens, and ‘other’ with a requirement to specify), quantity, frequency and latest period of use (lifetime, last 12 months, last 30 days). The data showed that cannabis was the most commonly used drug, with amphetamines second. Cocaine was also common, especially among those who had used it in the previous 30 days. Drug use was higher among males, although use varied by age among both males and females. Drug use was most common among both sexes for 25- to 34-year-olds, and a little less than one-third of males and one-fifth of females in this age range had used an illicit psychoactive substance at some point in their lives.

School surveys on drug use have been carried out in Sweden annually since 1971 by the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and other Drugs (CAN). Reported lifetime prevalence for illicit drugs among students aged 15–16 was highest in the 1970s (15 %) and subsequently fell to its lowest level in 1989 (3 %). The rate then rose again to 8 % in 2000, and has since remained at between 5 % and 7 %. In 2013 national school surveys on drug use were carried out among students in the 9th grade (aged 15–16) and the 11th grade (aged 17–18). Cannabis was by far the most common substance mentioned by 15- to 16-year-olds (5 %), followed by inhalants (4 %).

The latest European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) in 2011 showed that, as in most European countries, cannabis was the illicit drug that students had most frequently used in their lifetime. Lifetime prevalence was 9 % for students aged 15–16 (11 % among males and 5 % among females). In 2011, lifetime prevalence was 11 % for inhalants, 2 % for ecstasy, and 1 % for other substances. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 6 % (5 % in 2003 and 2007), and last month prevalence of cannabis use was 3 % (2 % in 2007; 1 % in 2003), with a higher rate among males than females.

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

High-risk drug use

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

The most recent estimate (for 2007) of the number of high-risk drug users (HRDUs (1)) in Sweden was 29 513 (4.9 high-risk drug users per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64). According to the available estimates, the number of HRDUs has been more or less constant since 1998. High-risk drug use in Sweden is dominated by amphetamines and heroin.

  • (1) It should be noted that the definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ in Sweden is broader than the EMCDDA definition in that it includes more drugs.

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

Treatment demand

Treatment demand data in Sweden are collected from three different information sources: (i) the National Patient Registry (PAR), which collects data from outpatient and inpatient treatment services within the health and medical sector, to which treatment providers are required to report by law; (ii) the criminal register based on the ASI (Addiction Severity Index) on a part of the clients with substance use problems sentenced by court; (iii) the DOK system, which covers data for clients admitted to compulsory treatment. Most treatment demand indicator variables are included in all three data sources, but sometimes definitions are not harmonised with the EMCDDA protocol. Furthermore, data collection is only mandatory for the criminal register.

In 2013 a total of 35 547 clients entered treatment during the reporting year, of which 17 482 were new clients entering treatment for the first time. It should be noted that these numbers are not controlled for double counting, and one patient could be reported more than once. Among all treatment clients, treatment demands were linked mainly to opioids (25 %), hypnotics and sedatives (13 %) and cannabis (12 %). Among new treatment clients, the majority of treatment demands were linked to cannabis (21 %), followed by opioids (16 %) and hypnotics and sedatives. Four in 10 clients entering treatment reported using two or more drugs, and for these clients no primary drug was reported. About 63 % of all treatment clients reported injecting drug use, with amphetamine being the main drug used by injection.

The mean age of all treatment clients in 2013 was 36 years, while new treatment clients were on average 34 years old. With regard to gender distribution, 69 % of all and 65 % of new treatment clients were male.

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

Drug-related infectious diseases

Statutory surveillance of communicable diseases is regulated in the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act in Sweden, and notifications are submitted to the County Medical Officer of Communicable Disease Control (one in each of the 21 counties in Sweden) and to the Public Health Agency of Sweden. Additional information on drug-related infectious diseases among people who inject drugs (PWID) is collected through knowledge, attitude and behaviour surveys and a second generation surveillance programme covering needle and syringe exchange programmes and prison.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) continues to be the infection that most commonly affects PWID. In 2013 some 1 953 new cases of HCV infection were notified through the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, of which 857 were through injecting drug use. Among 20- to 24-year-old PWID 34 new cases were notified in 2013, indicating likely recent, ongoing transmission of the HCV virus. Various studies conducted during the last 15 years indicate that HCV prevalence among PWID ranges between 60 % and 80 %.

Domestic spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to decrease. In 2013 a total of eight new HIV cases among PWID were notified in Sweden (source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). Two of these cases were likely to have originated in Sweden, which is the lowest number reported. In 2013 the number of notified cases of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection through injecting drug use was 14, indicating a continuing decline in the number of reported cases in the last decade.

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

Drug-induced deaths and mortality among drug users

Drug-induced deaths data originate from the Cause of Death Register at the National Board of Health and Welfare (the ICD system), which includes almost 99 % of all deaths occurring in Sweden. Data extraction and reporting is in line with the EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

In 2013, a total of 460 drug-induced deaths were reported in Sweden, continuing an increasing trend since 2003 when 211 drug-induced deaths were reported. Of the 460 cases reported in 2013 some 345 were male. The mean age of victims was 40 years. For almost all cases (451) toxicology reports were available, and the data indicate the presence of opiates in the majority (415) of these cases.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15–64) was 69.7 deaths per million in 2013, more than three times the European average of 17.2 deaths per million.

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

Treatment responses

In Sweden, drug treatment is organised by the social services in local communities (specialised outpatient clinics), hospitals (providing detoxification) or therapeutic communities. The National Board of Institutional Care provides compulsory treatment (up to a maximum of six months) in special cases. Drug treatment is also offered for those in prisons and on probation.

Funding for substance treatment, including treatment delivered by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is provided by the public budget of the municipalities, which are subsidised by state funds. In the case of NGOs, public funding is handled by the National Board of Health and Welfare, and is based on applications submitted by the NGOs. About 60 % of all inpatient services are provided by private and non-governmental organisations.In Sweden, there are treatment facilities specifically for drug users, but as a rule of thumb drug use treatment takes place alongside treatment for alcohol and/or other addictions. The county councils are responsible for the provision of detoxification, opioid substitution treatment and treatment of psychiatric co-morbidities, while municipalities have overall responsibility for long-term rehabilitation through social services in so-called ‘homes for care and living’ or ‘family homes’. Many of those ‘homes’ are privately operated. Social reintegration interventions seem to be limited in availability and coverage. Psychosocial and medical treatment and psychosocial support services are provided in inpatient settings. Cognitive behavioural therapy, methods of aggression replacement treatment and relapse and motivational interviewing are applied in compulsory treatment.

The Medical Products Agency’s Code Statutes LVFS 2004:15 stipulate that only treatment centres can initiate, and should be predominantly involved in, opioid substitution treatment (OST). Methadone (introduced in 1967) and buprenorphine (introduced in 1999) are the only officially recognised pharmaceutical substances for OST. According to the most recent study from 2013 there are about 110 OST units in Sweden. OST with methadone has always been subject to strict regulation. Since the new guidelines for OST came into force in January 2005, provision of medically assisted treatment has increased. At the same time, some centres have introduced ‘zero tolerance’ against lateral drug use, which leads to low retention rates in the treatment. In cases of lateral drug use, the clients are frequently referred to another type of treatment. A number of clinical trials have been conducted in Sweden to increase the retention rates in medically assisted treatment through the administration of structured psychosocial interventions.

The latest available data indicate that in 2013 a total of 3 700 clients were in opioid substitution treatment in Sweden.

See the Treatment profile for Sweden for additional information.  

Harm reduction responses

The new National Action Plan on Drugs (2011–15), like its predecessor, endorses the visionary goal of a society free from narcotics, while one of its long-term objectives is to reduce the harm caused by the use of alcohol, narcotics, doping and tobacco. The evaluation of the 2006–10 National Action Plan on Drugs further suggested that county councils should broaden the range of evidence-based interventions targeting drug users, including needle and syringe exchange. To support the health promotion and prevention efforts among PWID implemented at the regional level, guidelines on the prevention of infectious diseases are currently being drawn up by the Public Health Agency, highlighting relevant research and knowledge.

The first needle and syringe programme (NSP) in Sweden began operation in 1986. In 2006, the Swedish government passed a law formally allowing the 21 counties (län) to introduce needle and syringe exchange programmes. Regulations concerning these programmes were drawn up by the National Board of Health and Welfare in February 2007 and define the procedures county councils have to follow. These include: a justification of need (e.g. an estimate of the number of potential service users); an assessment of available resources; and a provision plan for complementary and additional care services (e.g. detox, drug treatment and aftercare). The regulations also stipulate the obligation for NSPs to inform clients about injecting risks and to offer additional services, including vaccinations and testing for infectious diseases, and they define further quality management rules for the implementation of such services. Drug users are eligible to participate in a NSP when they offer proof of identity and are 20 years of age or older.

At the end of 2013 there were five NSP in place in Sweden. Approximately 230 000 syringes were given out and about 1 900 clients were served in 2013 in four NSPs; however, one of these NSPs had only been running for nine months and thus the numbers do not represent the full picture of Swedish NSPs’ activities in 2013. A sixth NSP site opened in October 2014.

The NSPs assist drug users with other medical/social support, offer free HIV, HBV and HCV testing and refer them to drug-free treatment within the social services. Pharmacies are not entitled to sell needles/syringes to people without a prescription for medical use, such as for diabetes care, etc.

To improve bystander response to opioid overdose events, a pilot study covering first aid training and the distribution of the opioid antagonist naloxone kits to those who are likely to witness overdoses is planned.

See the Harm reduction overview for Sweden for additional information.  

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Approximately 90 % of seized drugs are smuggled to Sweden from another European Union country. They are mainly smuggled into the country via the bridge connection with Denmark, ports, international airports and recently via postal consignments. However, professional full-scale illegal indoor cultivation of marijuana is spreading within the country. Small-scale outdoor cannabis cultivation, synthetic drug manufacturing and diversion of narcotic pharmaceuticals also occur, but these are judged to be of limited importance for availability and supply.

According to police reports, cannabis is the illegal drug most frequently seized in Sweden. Herbal cannabis available in the market originates mainly from domestic production, while some cannabis products are also smuggled from the Netherlands. Amphetamines mostly originate from the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania, and brown heroin comes from Central Asia.

In 2013 the number of seizures and quantity of seized cannabis resin and herb increased when compared to previous years. The quantity of cannabis resin increased from 950 kg in 2011 to 1 159.6 kg in 2013, and of herbal cannabis from 264 kg to 928 kg respectively. Overall, there has been a slight decrease in amphetamine seizures since 2006, although the 631.2 kg and 807 tablets of amphetamine seized in 2013 was more than for 2012 (314.4 kg and 3 003 tablets). Methamphetamine seizures, after reaching a maximum in 2009, stabilised for the period 2010–12 and decreased in 2013, and the quantity of methamphetamine seized is decreasing (164 kg in 2009; 46.8 kg in 2012; 45.52 kg in 2013). Ecstasy seizures have increased dramatically in the last three years, and the quantity of ecstasy tablets seized increased from 2 400 to 38 630 tablets between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, a total of 26 919 tablets and 16.39 kg of ecstasy were seized. The amount of heroin seized in the last four years decreased from 58 kg in 2010 to 6.13 kg in 2013. The number of cocaine seizures has increased since 2011, indicating greater availability, but the annual amounts seized are highly variable. In 2013 a total of 81.06 kg of cocaine was seized.

According to the official criminal statistics for Sweden, there has been a steady increase in the number of drug-law offences registered, with 99 175 drug-law offences reported in 2013. Although drug-use offences predominate, the steepest increase in the past decade has been in production-related offences. The number of people convicted with drug offence as the main crime has more than doubled over the last 10 years. Amphetamines and cannabis remain the two most common illegal substances in the convictions statistics. In 2009 these accounted for 27 % and 42 % respectively of all illegal substances mentioned in criminal convictions.

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

National drug laws

The Act on the Control of Narcotic Drugs regulates trade in narcotics for medicinal or industrial purposes. The use and possession of illicit drugs are criminal offences under the Narcotic Drugs Punishment Act. Possession is punished according to three degrees of severity for drug offences: minor, ordinary and serious. The degree of offence takes into consideration the nature and quantity of drugs and other circumstances. Penalties for minor drug offences consist of fines or up to six months’ imprisonment; for ordinary drug offences up to three years; and for serious drug offences 2–10 years. The penalties for drug trafficking offences regulated in the Law on Penalties for Smuggling are identical to the penalties provided in the Narcotic Drugs Punishment Act.

Sweden also operates a system of classifying substances as ‘goods dangerous to health’, which may be used to control goods that, by reason of their innate characteristics, entail a danger to human life or health and are being used, or can be assumed to be used, for the purpose of intoxication or other influence. Importing such goods is punished in the same way as for drugs offences, whereas possession and transfer are punished by up to one year of imprisonment. More recently, a new Act came into effect in 2011 to enable the confiscation and destruction of new psychoactive substances before their official classification as narcotics, but with no other penalty for the owner.

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

National drug strategy

The current Swedish drug strategy, A Cohesive Strategy for Alcohol, Narcotic Drugs, Doping and Tobacco (ANDT) Policy, was adopted on 18 April 2011. Covering the period 2011–15, the strategy has the same overall objective as its predecessors, that is, to have a society free from narcotics. In addition to the strategy’s overall objective — which is a society free from narcotics and doping, decreased medical and social harm from alcohol and a decrease in use of tobacco — there are seven equally important long-term objectives:

  1. Curtailing the supply of illegal drugs, doping substances, alcohol and tobacco.
  2. Protecting children against the harmful effects of alcohol, narcotic drugs, doping and tobacco.
  3. Gradually reducing the number of children and young people who initiate the use of tobacco, illicit drugs or doping substances or begin drinking alcohol early.
  4. Gradually reducing the number of people who become involved in harmful use, abuse or dependence on alcohol, illicit drugs, doping substances or tobacco.
  5. Improving access to good-quality care and support for people with substance abuse or addiction.
  6. Reducing the number of people who die or suffer injuries or damage to their health as a result of their own or others’ use of alcohol, illicit drugs, doping substances or tobacco.
  7. Promoting a public health based, restrictive approach to ANDT in the European Union and internationally.

By adopting a long-term and cohesive strategy, the government aims to facilitate better coordination and cooperation between the different agencies and actors involved, as well as emphasising the responsibility of those involved. The strategy addresses its objectives through five pillars: prevention; treatment and rehabilitation; protection of children and adolescents; supply reduction; and cooperation

Annual action plans are adopted to support the implementation of the strategy; these cover all aspects of ANDT and describe the priorities for the year ahead in greater detail than the overall five-year strategy. The first annual action plan was adopted on 28 April 2011.

The strategy is evaluated externally, and the evaluation will focus on two specific concerns: (i) the degree to which the stated objectives have been met; and (ii) operational level and quality. The national evaluation will also include an international comparison to enable an assessment of the extent to which changes at national and regional level have been influenced by changes elsewhere in the world.


Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is responsible for drug coordination, via the ANDT Secretariat and the ANDT Council. Part of the Ministry’s Public Health Division, the Secretariat is responsible for coordinating ANDT policy, drawing up annual action plans for the implementation of the ANDT strategy and undertaking an evaluation of the work done to achieve the objectives. Chaired by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the ANDT Council is comprised of representatives from central authorities and organisations, and researchers. It is tasked with advising the Government on policy issues, new research and other information relevant to the development of ANDT policy.

The Swedish Public Health Agency plays a central role in the implementation of the national strategy and action plans. It works with and supports the ANDT coordinators at the county administrative boards and is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the national strategy’s goals. The National Board of Health and Welfare functions as the administrative authority for the provision of healthcare and medical services generally, and also in the area of drug use. It seeks to promote good health and social welfare, while supporting an equal level of care and quality for the whole Swedish population. The County Administrative Boards are given a central position and are responsible for the supervision and distribution of financial support for drug policy interventions in the municipalities. Regional drug coordinators are located at the regional level, most often at the county administrations or at the county councils. The regional drug coordinators’ tasks are to coordinate the regional activities in the drug area and to support the local activities in the municipalities.

Public expenditure

A five-year strategy covering the years 2011–15 was adopted by the Swedish Parliament in March 2011, and every year the government adopts one-year action programmes describing priorities for the coming year in more detail. In this framework, the Swedish government details an annual budget for some drug-related activities, in line with the principles of the action plan. Prevention and treatment are not budgeted for because they are financed by regional or local authorities. Six estimates of drug-related public expenditures have been made in Sweden, but the study for 2002 (1) is the only one to provide information about the methodology used.

In 2002 total drug-related expenditure (2) was estimated to represent between 0.2 % and 0.4 % of gross domestic product (GDP), with 70–76 % for law enforcement, 22–28 % for treatment, 0.7–1.7 % for prevention and 0.1–0.2 % for harm reduction (Table 1).

As the methods used to estimate drug-related expenditures have changed over time, it is not possible to report on trends in drug-related public expenditure in Sweden.

Table 1: Total drug-related expenditure, 2002
Sectors Expenditure (thousand EUR) % of total a
(a) EMCDDA calculations.
Source: Ramstedt (2006).
Law enforcement 315 000–790 000 70–76
Treatment 125 000–230 000 22–28
   Social services 84 000–155 000    
   Health and medical services 34 000–702 000  
Prevention 8 000–8 000 0.7–1.7
Harm reduction 1 000–1 000 0.1–0.2
449 000–1 029 000 100
% of GDP a
0.17–0.39 %     
  • (1) M. Ramstedt (2006), ‘What drug policies cost: estimating drug policy expenditures in Sweden, 2002: work in progress’, Addiction 101, pp. 330–8.
  • (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

Funding for research comes mainly from governmental sources. The Public Health Agency of Sweden and other agencies have the task of handling project funding related to drug prevention and treatment. The main organisations involved in conducting drug-related research are university departments, although non-governmental and governmental organisations are also relevant partners. Several channels for disseminating drug-related research findings are available in Sweden, ranging from scientific journals to dedicated websites, reports, manuals and conferences. Recent drug-related studies mentioned in the 2014 Swedish National report mainly focused on aspects related to responses to the drug situation and the consequences of drug use, but studies on determinants of drug use and supply and markets 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   EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 9 644 864 506 824 509 ep Eurostat
Population by age classes 15–24  2014  12.6 % 11.3 % bep
25–49  32.8 % 34.7 % bep
50–64  18.1 % 19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2013 127 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2012 30.5 % p 29.5 % p Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2014 7.9 % 10.2 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2014 22.9 % 22.2 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2013 61.4  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2013
At risk of poverty rate 5  2013 14.8 % 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) :   : 0.2 10.7      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   25.4% 6% 93%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   16.1% 2% 81%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2013   21.0% 6% 42%   16 24
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2013   EUR 158 EUR 25 EUR 158   22 22
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   1.2% 0% 4% 2%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   0.6% 0% 2% 1% 14 26
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.8% 0% 39%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   1.1% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2013   31.0% 20% 75%   6 27
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 103 EUR 47 EUR 103   24 24
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   1.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   1.3% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   0.7% 0% 1% 1% 21 25
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.4% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   0.0% 0% 22%      
Purity (%) 2013   31.0% 5% 71%   23 25
Price per gram (EUR) 2013   EUR 29 EUR 8 EUR 63   16 21
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   1.0% 0% 3% 1%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   0.5% 0% 2% 1% 15 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   119 mg 26 mg 144 mg   21 23
Price per tablet (EUR) 2013   EUR 16 EUR 3 EUR 24   16 19
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   9.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2013   7.1% 0% 22% 12%    
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2013   3.1% 0% 11% 6% 7 27
All clients entering treatment (%) 2013   12.3% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2013   20.9% 5% 80%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2013   1.6% 2% 13%   1 22
Potency — resin (%) 2013   15.5% 3% 22%   16 20
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2013   EUR 13 EUR 4 EUR 25   15 19
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2013   EUR 12 EUR 3 EUR 21   15 21
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) 2007   4.9 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   0.8 0.0 54.5      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 49%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 14% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2013   48.1 1.5 84.1      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2013   229 362 124 406 9 457 256      
Clients in substitution treatment 2013   3 425 180 172 513      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2013   30 567 289 101 753      
New clients 2013   13 759 19 35 229      
All clients with known primary drug 2013   30 546 287 99 186      
New clients with known primary drug 2013   13 757 19 34 524      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2013   99 175 429 426 707      
Offences for use/possession 2013   84 656 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.

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