Romania Country Drug Report 2019

Drug-induced deaths

Drug-induced deaths are deaths that can be directly attributed to the use of illicit drugs (i.e. poisonings or overdose).

Similar to previous years, in 2017, the number of reported drug-induced deaths was based on deaths examined in Bucharest alone. There were no data reported from 30 counties, and therefore the 32 deaths reported are an underestimate of the number of drug-induced deaths for the country as a whole. Data suggest that the deaths occurred among people with a long history of drug use and those who had mainly used illicit substances by injection.

According to the toxicological results, in 2017, opioids — mainly methadone in combination with benzodiazepines and heroin — were the principal drugs involved in drug-induced deaths. NPS were detected in four deaths and cocaine in one. All deaths in 2017 occurred among people aged 20-44 years.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (aged 15-64 years) was reportedly 2.44 deaths per million in 2017. It should be emphasised that, similar to the previous year, this mortality rate is an underestimation, as drug-induced cases have been notified from the Bucharest region only. No studies on mortality among drug users have been conducted in Romania in recent years.

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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.