Germany Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-related emergencies

Information on drug-related emergencies in Germany originates from the hospital records of inpatients treated for intoxication and poisoning, and from the Poison Information and Control Centres. The available data for 2016 indicate that more than 23 500 hospitalisations were linked to illicit drugs, relatively unchanged since 2015, when 23 800 cases were reported were. In 2016, more than half of the patients seeking help for intoxication (excluding poisoning) did so because of multiple psychoactive substances use; much less common were emergencies associated with cannabinoids (including synthetic cannabinoids), sedatives, stimulants other than cocaine and opioids. The long-term trend indicates an increase in polydrug use-related intoxications as well as an increase in cannabinoid- and stimulant-related intoxications (excluding cocaine).

In 2016, four out of eight Poison Information and Control Centres reported around 2 200 enquiries related to the suspected consumption of illicit drugs, most of which were linked to amphetamine-type substances and to cannabinoids, with half of the latter relating to synthetic cannabinoids.

A treatment centre from Munich participates 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.