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Harm reduction overview for Luxembourg

Map of Luxembourg

1. National context

A legal framework for a series of harm reduction measures, such as needle and syringe exchange and supervised injection rooms, was established in 2001 when the basic drug law of 1973 was amended. However, harm reduction interventions had already been initiated and developed prior to the new legal framework. The law amendment in 2001 allowed existing interventions to be maintained and further developed, and new services such as drug consumption rooms and medically assisted heroin distribution to be implemented. The first and until now only injection room at the national level opened in July 2005 and has been integrated into the low-threshold emergency centre for drug users. Up to 2013 a total of 1 400 clients had signed the facility’s mandatory user contract, and more than 40 000 injections were supervised by trained staff during the year. In 2012 the facility opened a room where drugs can be inhaled under supervision (blow room). A second supervised drug consumption room is planned in the southern part of the country for 2016/17. The set-up of a heroin-assisted treatment (HAT) programme is planned in the governmental programme and it is expected that HAT will be introduced as a complementary treatment option in 2015/16.

The National HIV/AIDS Action Plan for 2011–15 has been launched by the Ministry of Health. Its aims include the prevention of infectious diseases and harm reduction in drug-using populations. The elaboration of this plan has taken into consideration the recommendations of the external evaluation of the previous plan.

The national needle and syringe exchange programme in Luxembourg is decentralised and consists of five fixed sites, one of which was opened in 2014, drug counselling centres, drop-in centres for sex workers and at-risk populations, low-threshold services and four vending machines situated in the towns most affected by injecting drug use. Needle and syringe exchange is also provided at two prison-based sites. Apart from needles and syringes, testing for blood-borne infectious disease, vaccinations and counselling on safe use practices are also provided. In 2012 a mobile medical care unit was launched as additional service, facilitating the provision of primary medical care at low-threshold agencies. Approximately one-third of RELIS-indexed PWID obtain clean syringes mainly from pharmacies, and this proportion is estimated to have been stable in recent years.

The number of sterile syringes distributed in the framework of the national needle exchange programme has constantly increased since it was first implemented in 1993, when 76 000 syringes were distributed, reaching a peak in 2005 when some 435 000 syringes were given out. Syringe demand has significantly decreased in more recent years, and numbers fell to 192 000 in 2013.

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2. Responses to prevent and reduce drug-related infectious diseases

Needle and syringe programmes Country  data
Availability of  NSP programmes  Full
% NSP availability at NUTS3  100 %
Drug use equipment distributed at specialised drug agencies (standard prevention material)
availability of alcohol pads  Yes
availability of dry wipes  Yes
availability of containers  Yes
availability of water  Yes
availability of condoms  Yes
availability of foil  Yes

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.
Testing, vaccination and treatment of infections Country  data
Availability of Hepatitis C testing in the community  Extensive
Availability of universal hepatitis B immunization programme  Yes
Hepatitis B vaccination programme specific for high risk groups  No
ARV treatment of HIV infection Full

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.
Health promotion responses Country  data
Availability of individual counselling programmes  Full
Availability of programmes for practical advice and training on 'safer use/safer injecting'  Full
Involvement of peer educators in the response to infectious diseases prevention  Yes

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.

Drug Treatment

See the country specific treatment profile.

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3. Responses to prevent and reduce drug-related deaths

Availability of drug-related death responses in the community Country  data
Availability of overdose information materials  Limited
Availability of individual overdose risk assessment (provided by trained drugs or health workers)  Limited
Availability of overdose response training  Limited

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.
Availability of drug consumption rooms Country  data
Number of facilities 1
Number of cities 1
Number of consumptions per year 30000

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
N.Av. stands for ‘The intervention is not available in the country’.

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4. Responses to prevent and reduce drug-related harms in recreational settings

Provision of specific responses implemented in night clubs and festivals Free, accessible, cold water Immediate First Aid ‘Chill out’ rooms Information material Outreach work Amnesty bins
Night clubs  : : : Limited  :  Does not exist
Festivals  : : : Limited  :  Does not exist

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2011.
Provision expert rating scale:

  • Full – in nearly all night clubs/festivals.
  • Extensive – a majority of night clubs/festivals provide the intervention (but not nearly all of them).
  • Limited – more than a few night clubs/festivals provide the intervention (but not a majority of them).
  • Rare – just a few night clubs/festivals provide the intervention.

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5. References and links

Related EMCDDA resources

 

About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 03 June 2015