EMCDDA webinar: Drug-related deaths in Europe, current challenges and implications for responses

photo of people passing in a hospital corridor with text emcdda webinar wednesday, 8 december 2021, 13.00-14.00 cet brussels time, drug related deaths in europe, current challenges and implications for responses

Description: This webinar is linked to the latest bundle of EMCDDA miniguides which focus on responding to drug-related harms. It aims to provide an insight into the current situation regarding drug-related deaths in Europe and responses to them. Speakers will briefly present the situations they face and discuss policies and responses.

The EMCDDA miniguides, being rolled out in four bundles, make up the latest Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide.

Background: High-risk substance use and polydrug use continue to fuel drug-induced deaths in Europe. Most deaths directly linked to drug use involve opioids — mainly heroin in conjunction with other drugs. However, other opioids, some medicines, stimulants (e.g. cocaine and amphetamines) are now of concern in some countries. Increases in deaths among different age groups, including teenagers in some countries and those over 50, highlight the diversity of the challenge facing service providers and existing models of provision.

Objective: This webinar will involve discussion with participants of different national realities to better understand problems and implications for responses. It will illustrate the wide range of available and used evidence-based responses, but also show how barriers can be overcome to implement and adjust these responses to the different situations.

A conversation with:

  • Andrew McAuley, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK
  • Martin Busch, Austrian Public Health Institute (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH), Austria
  • Thomas Clausen, University of Oslo, SERAF, Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research and Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Mark Johnson, User Voice, UK

Chairperson: Isabelle Giraudon, EMCDDA

Opening and closing remarks: Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA Director

Format: EMCDDA opening remarks, panellists' questions, guided discussion, Q&A from attendees.

The following questions will be addressed:

  1. What are the current major concerns around drug-related deaths in your country?
  2. What is being done to address the problem?
  3. From your perspective – what are the most pressing challenges right now? What are the implications for policy and practice and for research?


Length: 1.5 hours

Participants: The webinar is open to EMCDDA staff members, the Reitox network and external individuals. Participation is possible upon registration, after which the person will receive a link to connect.

Date: 8 December 12.00-13.30 Lisbon time (13.00–14.30 CET).

Platform: Zoom

A recording of this webinar is available in our Media library.