Bulgaria Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related emergencies

In 2017, the Centre for Emergency Medical Aid of Sofia reported 595 emergency cases related to illicit drug use (including abstinence syndrome), of which 74 cases were related to overdose with an illicit substance.

The toxicology clinic in Pirogov Hospital in Sofia reported 198 emergency clients in 2017, almost one third of whom required assistance because of cannabis use; in the remaining cases the drugs most commonly reported were amphetamine, cocaine, heroin and methadone. Almost half of those seeking treatment were treated in outpatient care and the remainder were hospitalised in the clinic. Drug-related emergencies trends have remained relatively constant, except for cases related to the use of amphetamines or cannabis, which have increased.

Since 2017, one emergency department in a hospital in Sofia has participated in the European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN Plus) project, which was established in 2013 to monitor acute drug toxicity in sentinel centres across Europe.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.