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Harm reduction overview for Malta

Map of Malta

1. National context

One of the main objectives of the Draft National Drugs Policy 2008 is to achieve a high level of health protection and social cohesion by preventing and reducing drug-related harm to health and society. The policy’s aim is to provide the general public with information on the dangers of drug use and to promote ongoing public health campaigns. Harm reduction responses relate to the prevention of drug-related infectious diseases, and include access to clean injecting equipment, testing and counselling for infectious diseases such as HIV, HBV and HCV, risk awareness and HBV vaccinations. In 2009 a new Female Harm Reduction Centre for females who inject drugs was opened by Caritas to provide short-term intensive therapy to clients who cannot achieve abstinence in the short term; sheltered accommodation and protection from abuse and sex work is also provided.

Syringe distribution started in Malta in 1987 and reached a nationwide geographical coverage in 1994, with seven fixed locations across Malta. Since then, the number of syringes distributed annually has increased steadily, from 22 000 in 1994 to 376 000 in 2012. In 2013 this trend changed for the first time when the number of syringes distributed decreased to 358 000. The majority of syringes are distributed from health centres in the Southern and Northern Harbour regions of Malta.

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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  No
availability of dry wipes  No
availability of containers  No
availability of water  No
availability of condoms  No
availability of foil  No

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  Full
Availability of universal hepatitis B immunization programme  Yes
Hepatitis B vaccination programme specific for high risk groups  Yes
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'  Rare
Involvement of peer educators in the response to infectious diseases prevention  No

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  Full
Availability of individual overdose risk assessment (provided by trained drugs or health workers)  Full
Availability of overdose response training  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.
Availability of drug consumption rooms Country  data
Number of facilities n.av.
Number of cities n.av.
Number of consumptions per year n.av.

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2011.
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  Extensive Limited  Does not exist  Rare Rare  Does not exist
Festivals  Extensive  Limited  Does not exist  Rare  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: Tuesday, 02 June 2015