Slovenia country overview

Slovenia country overview

Map of Slovenia

About NFP 

The Slovenian national focal point is a part of the Information Unit for Illicit Drugs (IUID), which is located at the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia (NIPH). The NIPH collects, organises and analyses health-related statistical data in the fields of diagnoses, attendance, staff and visiting hours in outpatient facilities, outpatient specialist services and in hospitals. The legal basis for the establishment of the Slovenian national focal point is the Prevention of Illicit Drug Abuse and Treatment of Drug Addictions Act (1999).

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Last updated: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drug use among the general population and young people

Content for prevalence 

The European Health Interview Survey was conducted by the NIPH in 2007. The sample comprised 2 117 Slovenian residents living in private households (i.e. not institutionalised) and aged 15 or over. The survey included two issues related to drug use. It reported last year prevalence among adults aged 15 and over of 2.6 % for cannabis, and 0.9 % for other drugs. More males than females used cannabis and other drugs; in the 15–64 age group, cannabis was used by 4.8 % of males and 1.3 % of females.

In 2011–12 the NIPH implemented a survey on the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs among 7 514 randomly selected individuals aged 15–64 in private households. According to the survey, cannabis was the most commonly used drug in Slovenia, with lifetime prevalence of 15.8 % among all respondents, followed by cocaine and ecstasy at 2.1 % each. Last year prevalence of cannabis use among all respondents was 4.4 %, while 2.3 % reported using cannabis in the last 30 days. Lifetime cannabis use was higher among males than females, and among younger populations. Lifetime prevalence was 28.7 % among 15- to 34-year-olds. The highest prevalence rates for last year and last month cannabis use were among 15- to 24-year-olds (15 % and 7.5 % respectively). According to the survey results, 0.6 % of all respondents reported ever having used a new psychoactive substance.

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has been carried out in Slovenia since 1995, with the latest survey in 2011. It is based on a nationwide stratified random sample of high-school students aged 15–16. As in many central and eastern European countries, an increase in lifetime experience of illicit drugs was observed in the 1990s. Lifetime experience of cannabis use nearly doubled from 13 % in 1995 to 25 % in 1999. In 2011 some 23 % reported lifetime experience of cannabis, with more males (26 %) reporting its use than females (21 %). Last year prevalence of cannabis use in 2011 was 19 % and last month prevalence was 10 %. Lifetime prevalence of inhalants was reported by 20 % of the students, cocaine by 3 %, and ecstasy, amphetamines and LSD by 2 % for each drug. Lifetime prevalence of heroin use was equal to 1 %.

In 2013–14 Slovenia implemented the cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study for the fourth consecutive time, following previous surveys in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The study encompasses a representative sample of students aged 11, 13 and 15, although the questions pertaining to cannabis use are only asked of the 15-year-old students. The data from the latest study showed that 24 % of boys and 19 % of girls who responded had tried cannabis at least once in their lifetime, which indicates an overall declining trend from 2002.

A 2010 study in nightlife settings collected data on drug use from a sample of 607 respondents who visited clubs and bars. The results of the study indicated that drug use is common in Slovenian nightlife settings, and it is significantly more common among males than females.

Look for Prevalence of drug use in the Statistical bulletin for more information.


Content for prevention 

In Slovenia the prevention of psychoactive substance use is regulated at the national level by laws, regulations and guidelines within various ministries, coordinated by the Ministry of Health. At the community level, Local Action Groups for addiction prevention are tasked to coordinate the activities within the competence of self-governments.

There have been a number of interventions related to environmental prevention in recent years, focused mostly on alcohol and tobacco. These interventions are implemented by various governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). One example is the so-called ‘watchdog’ actions (Mystery Shopping and Yellow Card campaigns), which put formal and informal pressure on policymakers and decision-makers about the implementation of alcohol and tobacco laws (such as reporting on violations of the alcohol/tobacco marketing regulation, which bans the sale of/offering of alcohol and tobacco to minors, etc.).

Universal prevention and selective prevention have been strengthened by NGOs implementing more evidence-based, evaluated, structured and manualised prevention interventions such as Unplugged, Take Care, FreD goes net, EFFEKT and PUM (Project Learning for Young Adults — a selective prevention programme for young people who drop out of school and youth at risk). Prevention activities in schools are mainly carried out by the NIPH and local health centres and non-governmental organisations or associations, and include alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

Individual or time-limited structured and semi-structured interventions that aim to build self-esteem in children and young people (especially in schools), and to improve their life (personal/social) skills, etc., are still common. In addition, evidence-based, theoretical interventions that aim to provide background support, or individual or time-limited interventions, are provided by public and private social services for families considered to be at risk (for example, therapeutic meetings between social workers or therapists and members of a family).

In recent years several initiatives have developed interactive web-based tools and applications to inform about risk related to drugs and alcohol.

Prevention work in recreation settings is primarily organised by the NGO DrogArt, which offers activities at electronic music events, at youth nightlife venues and in club settings in central Slovenia, while some local projects to ensure safer nightlife through the distribution of information, condoms, and occasionally drinking water, are implemented in several Slovenian cities.

Indicated prevention programmes are chiefly aimed at children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are also programmes for children and adolescents with other mental disorders, for example depression, and for children from families where parents or grandparents use psychoactive substances, and for Roma communities.

In 2012 recommendations for school-based prevention were issued by one NGO, based on literature reviews and the evaluation of Unplugged. These recommendations have not been accepted at a national level.

See the Prevention profile for Slovenia for more information. 

Problem drug use

Content for problem drug use 

Up to 2012 the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) defined problem drug use as injecting drug use or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines. However, in 2012 a new definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adopted. This new definition includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

Opiates, and in particular heroin, are the most-reported substance linked to high-risk drug use in Slovenia, according to various data sources including treatment demand data and harm reduction data. The most recent study (2013), using capture–recapture methodology, estimated that there were 5 200 high-risk opioid users (95 % confidence interval (CI): 4 750–5 740) in Slovenia. It corresponds to a rate of 3.71 (95 % CI: 3.39–4.10) per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15–64, and indicates a stable prevalence of high-risk opioid users in the past years.

High-risk cannabis use was calculated based on data from the 2011 and 2012 general population studies on the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. They indicate that about 0.5 % of those aged 15–64 were using cannabis daily or almost daily.

Look for High-risk drug use in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Treatment demand

Content for treatment demand 

Treatment demand data in Slovenia is collected through the nationwide network of the Centres for the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Addiction (CPTDA) and from the Centre for the Treatment of Drug Addiction at the Ljubljana Psychiatric Hospital. In 2013 a new treatment demand questionnaire based on the treatment demand indicator (TDI) protocol 3.0 was introduced in Slovenia. All treatment centres are part of the main healthcare programme funded by the National Health Insurance Institute and they are obliged by national legislation to collect data. In 2014 a total of 17 outpatient drug treatment centres and the Centre for the Treatment of Drug Addiction submitted treatment demand data. The total number of clients entering treatment in 2014 was 419, of which 110 had entered treatment for the first time. Data are not reported from prisons and low-threshold agencies, as data collection is not yet implemented in those facilities.

In 2014 some 76 % of all treatment clients reported opioids, mainly heroin, as their primary drug, 12 % reported cannabis and 6 % cocaine. Among new treatment clients 55 % reported opioids, mainly heroin, as their main problem substance, followed by 36 % for cannabis. In general, the proportion of those who entered treatment because of cannabis use increased among new treatment clients, and also among all treatment clients, while the proportion of opioid users has been reducing over the past years. Drug injecting was reported less frequently among new treatment clients than among all treatment clients (28 % and 13 % respectively), and in general during the last seven years there has been a declining tendency in drug injecting among all and new treatment clients.

The mean age of all treatment clients entering treatment was 32, while new treatment clients were on average slightly younger at 27 years old. In general, the ageing of the drug using population, which is also noted in Slovenia, presents new issues and problems such as increased social hardship, including homelessness, and a higher frequency of acute and chronic illness. With regard to gender distribution, 79 % of all and new treatment clients were male.

Look for Treatment demand indicator in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Drug-related infectious diseases

Content for drug-related infectious diseases 

The NIPH collects data on the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in convenience samples of people who inject drugs (PWID) through a national network of CPTDAs. In addition, unlinked, anonymous HIV testing of PWID is performed the first time they attend treatment at the Centre for Prevention and Treatment of Illicit Drug Addiction in Ljubljana and at four non-governmental harm reduction programmes. The NIPH also collects information on newly diagnosed cases of HIV, HBV and HCV infections. In contrast to HIV, where information on the mode of infection is available for almost all notified cases, information on the transmission route is available only for a minority of notified cases of HBV and HCV. In general, analysis of surveillance information on the prevalence of drug-related infectious diseases among PWID in Slovenia indicates a stable situation during the last five years.

Available data for 2006–14 indicate that HIV prevalence among PWID confidentially tested during treatment at CPTDAs remained below 1 % (except in 2009, 2011 and 2013 when it was slightly above 1 %), while in 2014 it increased to 3.6 % (three cases among those tested). In addition, saliva specimens collected for unlinked anonymous testing for surveillance purposes at different sentinel sites between 2008 and 2013 found in total three specimens that were positive for HIV antibodies in 2010 (sample of 253), 2011 (sample of 186) and 2012 (sample of 173), corresponding to annual prevalence rates of 0.4 %, 0.5 % and 0.6 % respectively. In the last few years five new HIV cases with a history of injecting drug use were reported — one in 2012 and two annually in 2013 and 2014, while between 2001 and 2011 no new HIV infection cases were reported among PWID.

In 2014 the prevalence of antibodies against HBV among PWID confidentially tested during their treatment at CPTDAs was 7.6 %, and the prevalence against HCV was 37 %. Between 2009 and 2014 the prevalence of those infected with HBV was the highest in 2011 (8.1 %), while for hepatitis C it was highest in 2014.

The reported rate of acute and chronic HBV infection in the Slovenian population in 2014 was 1.9 per 100 000 inhabitants, which is the lowest since 2010. The reported rate of acute and chronic HCV infection in the Slovenian population in 2014 was 3.1 per 100 000 inhabitants, which is the lowest reported since 2008. However, there is a high risk of underreporting of cases for both HCV and HBV.

Look for Drug-related infectious diseases in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

Content for drug-induced deaths 

In 2014 information on drug-related deaths was reported based on data from the General Mortality Register of the NIPH. The data are extracted following EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

There were 28 drug-induced deaths in 2014, similar to the figures for 2009–13 but fewer than in 2007–08. The majority of deaths were among males (26 cases), and the mean age was 37.3. For 25 cases toxicological findings were reported. Results showed the involvement of opioids (heroin and methadone) in the vast majority of the reported cases.

The drug-induced mortality rate among adults (15–64) was 20 deaths per million in 2014, comparable to the most recent European average of 19.2 deaths per million.

A mortality cohort study conducted from 2004 to 2013 among treated drug users indicated a mortality rate of 5.7 deaths per 1 000 person-years, a rate that is two times higher than the general population of the same age. The average age at death was 38 for men and 34 for women. Apart from drug-induced deaths, the excess mortality was due to suicide, traffic accidents and other violent acts, alcoholic liver cirrhosis and cardiovascular diseases. The excess mortality due to suicides was particularly high — 2.5 times higher for males and almost four times higher for females in the cohort compared to the general population.

Look for Drug-related deaths in the Statistical bulletin for more information. 

Treatment responses

Content for treatment responses 

At the national level, drug-related treatment is provided by different systems of health, social support and civil society NGOs. Responsibility for implementing treatment lies predominantly at the national level. Treatment is carried out on a formal legal basis under the following acts: the Health Care and Health Insurance Act (Official Gazette 9/92), Production and Trade in Illicit Drugs Act (official Gazette 108/99 with amendments) and the Prevention of the Use of Illicit Drugs and Dealing with Consumers of Illicit Drugs Act (Official Gazette 98/99).

The main funder of drug-related treatment in the health sphere is the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia. The public sector delivers most drug-related treatment, primarily opioid substitution treatment (OST). However, other drug-related treatment (mainly psychosocial interventions) is also delivered by NGOs, supported by public funding. In terms of government funding for new treatment methods, priority is given to abstinence-based treatment, or treatment that reduces the harmful health consequences related to drug use. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities co-funds rehabilitation services.

Drug-related treatment is available free of charge within the framework of the public health national service network. Treatment takes place primarily at one of the 18 CPTDAs, which are run as a public health service. The legislative basis of the work of the CPTDAs and the provision of drug-related health services are defined in four laws: the Law on the Prevention of Illicit Drug Use and Treatment of Drug Users; the Law on Health Care and Health Insurance; the Law on Drugs and Medicine Accessories; and the Law on the Health Service. To provide inpatient treatment, the government has established a public health centre — the Centre for the Treatment of Drug Addiction — at the Ljubljana Psychiatric Hospital. Addiction treatment can also be provided in psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric outpatient units within the primary healthcare system; however, this is not a common practice. All prisons provide addiction treatment services, including OST. All treatment programmes are under the supervision of the Health Council.

The Commission for Controlling the Work of the CPTDAs, appointed by the Minister of Health, oversees the treatment centres. This Commission checks the documentation, human resources and equipment of the centres, the scope of work performed, their methadone maintenance treatment programmes and consultation-based treatment.

The treatment system in Slovenia has four categories: (i) outpatient treatment; (ii) inpatient treatment; (iii) detoxification; and (iv) OST. Outpatient treatment is used for the majority of treated drug users, and the most frequent treatment is OST. Treatment also includes psychosocial interventions, other medically assisted treatment, individual or group counselling and a socio- or psychotherapy component, including assistance in rehabilitation and social reintegration, links to home nursing, therapeutic communities and self-help groups. Inpatient drug treatment consists mainly of psychosocial interventions, yet may also be pharmacologically assisted in terms of withdrawal treatment. Detoxification treatment may take place in inpatient or outpatient settings. Inpatient treatment sessions last six to eight weeks in a hospital setting. In 2009 an integrated treatment for drug users with mental co-morbidities was made available at the Ljubljana Psychiatric Hospital. Non-hospital based residential treatment and therapeutic communities are delivered primarily by non-governmental organisations within the frame and funding of social welfare programmes.

OST was introduced in 1990, and is provided either by doctors employed in outpatient clinics or by general practitioners who practise at the CPTDAs. Buprenorphine was registered in 2004 and slow-release morphine in 2005. These two medications have contributed to the increased diversification of OST options. Treatment with naltrexone is also available. The buprenorphine/naloxone combination was introduced in 2007.

In 2014 the total number of clients in OST was estimated to be 3 190, of which 1 964 received methadone maintenance treatment while others received either buprenorphine-based substitution treatment or slow-release morphine.

See the Treatment profile for Slovenia for additional information. 

Harm reduction responses

Content for harm reduction responses 

Slovenia has more than 25 years of experience in the field of harm reduction, and the reduction of drug-related harm has been one of the main objectives of several consecutive national strategies on drugs, the latest of which covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Many new programmes have been developed at the local level, mainly aimed at injecting drug users and drug users in recreational settings. As an example, in response to the recently emerging use of unknown substances sold as drugs, the NGO DrogArt provides a special testing service in recreational settings. The harm reduction programmes are co-financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

In 2014 ten harm reduction programmes (including four mobile units) for people who inject drugs operated across Slovenia, providing sterile injecting equipment, information and counselling at nine fixed sites and at various outreach locations across Slovenia, including the capital city of Ljubljana and other regions and cities (the Maribor region, the Koper region, the cities of Celje, Ilirska Bistrica, etc.). Injecting equipment for these programmes is centrally purchased and distributed by the Koper Regional Unit of the NIPH and funded by the Slovenian Health Insurance Institute. Syringes and other injecting paraphernalia (alcohol wipes, ascorbic acid) are usually made available through day-care centres, outreach and mobile services, but are also available at five pharmacy-based exchange sites. In 2014 around 495 000 syringes were distributed nationwide, which indicates a declining trend in distributed sterile injecting material since 2010. It was estimated in 2012 that around 121 000 syringes were sold to drug users through pharmacies.

In addition, free vaccination against HBV and free testing for HCV and HIV are available to all drug users in contact with a CPTDA. These centres also provide training on overdose prevention. Treatment for HCV infection is also free of charge. In 2015 an NGO obtained funding to prepare and operate a safe consumption facility in Ljubljana, which is expected to open in 2016.

See the Harm reduction overview for Slovenia for additional information. 

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Content for Drug markets and drug-law offences 

Slovenia is located on the Balkan route, the main pathway for illegal trafficking of heroin and cannabis from south-eastern Europe to central and western Europe, while synthetic stimulants and cocaine are smuggled in the opposite direction. Small amounts of the trafficked illicit drugs are diverted to the Slovenian market, which is organised by small criminal groups with good connections to their peers in other Western Balkan countries. These groups are also becoming increasingly involved in the cultivation of cannabis within Slovenia. In 2014 a total of 118 cannabis cultivation sites were seized. In recent years, cannabis illegally cultivated in Slovenia has also been smuggled to the neighbouring European Union Member States. Some indications exist that stimulants are smuggled into Slovenia from western European countries (the Netherlands), as no production sites for these substances have so far been found inside Slovenia.

Ministry of Interior data shows that 4 496 drug-law offences were reported in 2014, of which 90 % were use-related offences. More than two-thirds of the criminal offences and minor offences related to the production of and trade in drugs were linked to cannabis.

It is notable that in 2014 the number of illicit drug seizures decreased when compared to 2013, but it still remains high. In 2014 the quantities of amphetamine, cannabis plants and cannabis resin seized were significantly larger than in 2013. While cocaine was seized in a record amount of 181.99 kg, this was mainly linked to one large seizure close to the border with Italy. In 2014 a total of 11 067 cannabis plants, 2.32 kg of cannabis resin and a record amount of 21.39 kg of amphetamine (and 737 tablets) were seized in Slovenia. In 2009 the number of ecstasy tablets seized was the second highest in the last decade, but in 2010–14 there was a significant reduction in the number seized.

The number of heroin-related seizures has declined since 2008 from 772 to 289 in 2014. The quantity seized has also reduced from 136.5 kg in 2008 to 4.87 kg in 2014, while significant annual fluctuations are recorded, but at lower levels than before 2011.

Look for Drug-law offences in the Statistical bulletin for additional data. 

National drug laws

Content for National drug laws 

In Slovenia, purchasing drugs for one’s own use and consumption is not considered a criminal offence. Slovenia’s Production and Trade in Illicit Drugs Act defines separately the possession of illicit drugs, the possession of a small quantity for individual use, and the possession of a small quantity for individual use for a person who opts for medical treatment or treatment in health or social programmes. Possession of an illicit drug is considered a minor offence under the Production and Trade in Illicit Drugs Act (Article 33), and is subject to a fine. For example, possession of small quantities of illicit drugs for one-off personal use might lead to a monetary fine of between EUR 42 and EUR 209. Individuals may be subject to more lenient punishment if they voluntarily enter treatment for illicit drug use or social security programmes approved by the Health Council at the Ministry of Health or by the Council for Drugs at the Ministry of Labour.

The Penal Code, adopted in 2008, defines two criminal offences: the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs (Article 186), and facilitating the consumption of illicit drugs (Article 187). Article 186 includes the sale of illicit drugs, the manufacture of illicit drugs, the purchase of illicit drugs with the intention of sale, possession with the intent to re-sell, etc., punishable by 1–10 years’ imprisonment, or 3–15 years if the offence included defined aggravating circumstances such as particular locations or involving vulnerable people.

Article 187 of the Penal Code includes the offer of illicit drugs for consumption, the offer of premises for minors to consume illicit drugs, etc. as offences punishable by prison sentences of between six months and eight years. Offences committed on vulnerable people, and where an offender is abusing their position, are punishable by 1–12 years’ imprisonment. The Penal Code was amended in November 2011 to provide that an action to facilitate illicit drug use is not punishable if it is in the context of a programme of drug addiction treatment or is a controlled use of drugs that conforms to the law approved and is implemented within the framework or under the supervision of public health authorities, for example in a drug consumption room. In principle, this new amendment creates an enabling legal environment for the establishment of drug consumption rooms in Slovenia.

In 2013 some 48 new psychoactive substances, mostly new synthetic drugs, were added to the list of controlled substances.

Go to the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) for additional information. 

National drug strategy

Content for National drug strategy 

On 2 April 2014 Slovenia’s National Assembly adopted a new resolution on the National Programme on Drugs for 2014–20. The new National Programme is a continuation of the previous strategy and is based on the findings of its evaluation; it also takes into account the current epidemiological situation in the country. The main emphasis in the new National Programme is the development of integral and balanced measures, programmes and activities that contribute to solving the problem of illicit drugs in Slovenia. Since this field is covered by several ministerial departments and by various disciplines, the National Programme includes both supply reduction and activities and measures related to prevention, treatment and social care.

The National Programme specifies a number of goals, including:

  • The promotion of prevention programmes in order to reduce the number of new drug users among the younger generation and to reduce the number of offences related to illicit drugs.
  • Support for the development of programmes to help maintain or reduce the number of people infected with HIV, HBV and HCV, and deaths due to overdoses.
  • The development of programmes for the psychosocial treatment of drug users, therapeutic communities and communes, and re-integration programmes for former drug users.
  • The development and upgrading of all the coordinating structures in the drug field at local and national levels.
  • Strengthening of the activities against organised crime, the illicit drug trade, money laundering and other drug-related crime.

The National Programme is built around six pillars: (i) information systems; (ii) drug demand reduction; (iii) supply reduction; (iv) international cooperation; (v) coordination; and (vi) evaluation, research and training/education. It includes a requirement for a process evaluation of its implementation and a final evaluation.

Part of the strategic document the National Crime Prevention and Crime Control Strategy also covers the area of illicit drugs. Several objectives in this strategy are concerned with drug issues:

  • Ensure the successful detection of criminal acts and offences in the field of illicit drugs.
  • Reduce the number of all illicit drug users.
  • Strengthen universal, selective and indicated prevention activities aimed at preventing drug use and reducing drug-related crime.

These objectives are to be achieved through a series of specific measures. These include monitoring organised crime groups and targeting their activities. In order to reduce the number of illicit drug users, efforts are to be directed at creating a better living environment, alleviating the negative consequences of drug use through access to treatment, social care and reintegration, provision of mental health services, and the prevention of HIV infections. The strategy seeks to deploy a range of prevention programmes at the universal, selective and indicative levels in order to target the general population as well as individuals deemed to be more at risk of drug use.

Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

Content for Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs 

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Government of Slovenia is responsible for drug policy at the inter-ministerial level. The Commission promotes and coordinates government policy and programmes, proposes measures, and monitors implementation of the provisions of international conventions. It includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When preparing an expert basis for decision-making, the Commission may invite independent experts to participate. The Ministry of Health performs the administrative work of the Commission.

Two ministries carry out the operational day-to-day coordination of drug policy in Slovenia: the Ministry of Health is responsible for coordination activities in the areas of demand reduction, legislation and drug policy; and the Ministry of Interior is responsible for coordinating responses in the area of supply reduction.

At the Ministry of Health, the Health Promotion and Healthy Lifestyles Division is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of drug policy.

Local Action Groups are tasked with the coordination of drug policy at the local level. They act as expert advisory bodies for mayors and municipal/urban councils responsible for preparing measures in the drugs area. Ten regional coordinators were appointed in 2005. A wide variety of non-professional groups are members of the Local Action Groups. These include representatives from municipalities, kindergartens, schools, parents, youth, drug users, health centres, centres for social work, employment services, police, courts, NGOs (especially youth centres, clubs, and sports and cultural organisations), religious communities, media and other interested members of the public. This broad composition reflects the wide scope of activities the Local Action Groups undertake, which extends beyond the drugs field.

Public expenditure

Content for Public expenditure 

In Slovenia there are no budgets attached to the national drug policy documents. Authorities report total drug-related expenditures (1) every year, covering both demand and supply reduction activities, but the methodology used is not detailed and data completeness varies every year.

In 2014 data available for total drug-related expenditures suggested that it represented 0.026 % of gross domestic product (GDP). Taking into account data limitations, available estimates suggest that these expenditures varied between 0.02 % and 0.03 % of GDP during the period 2006–14.

Trend analysis shows that drug-related labelled expenditure increased between 2006 and 2011 in nominal terms. However, after 2008 the pace of growth decelerated, probably associated with the public austerity measures following the economic recession of 2008. Despite the fact that annual data is not fully comparable, evidence seems to suggest that the total funds available may have registered a reduction in 2012, following the overall public austerity experienced in Slovenia, and remained stable in the subsequent year. In 2014 data seemed to suggest that drug-related funds had started increasing slightly.

(1) Some of the funds allocated by governments for expenditure on tasks related to drugs are identified as such in the budget (‘labelled’). Often, however, the bulk of drug-related expenditure is not identified (‘unlabelled’) and must be estimated by modelling approaches. The total budget is the sum of labelled and unlabelled drug-related expenditures.

Drug-related research

Content for Drug-related research 

The new National Programme on Drugs for 2014–20 was adopted in 2014, and includes a chapter on research, evaluation and education.

The NIPH is one of the agencies involved in drug-related research, and also plays an important role in collecting and disseminating research findings at the national level. The main focus of drug-related research is population surveys, although applied research in the treatment area and pharmacological research projects are also undertaken. Data on the prevalence of drug use in the general population are taken from the survey on tobacco, alcohol and drug use, conducted on a representative sample of the inhabitants of Slovenia aged 15–64 by the NIPH, and from the survey on the prevalence of psychoactive substances among adult inhabitants of Slovenia.

Data on the use of illicit drugs in specific populations are drawn from research carried out by public organisations, NGOs and individual faculties. The NIPH, Koper Regional Unit, performs an annual survey on the profile of users of harm reduction programme, which obtains data on usage and risky behaviours related to drug use in the target group. DrogArt primarily focuses on researching recreational drug use and the use of new drugs; it conducted research into cocaine use in nightlife setting and an online survey on the use of mephedrone in 2010.

In 2015 the Faculty of Pharmacy conducted an online survey on the use of new psychoactive substances among the students of the University of Ljubljana. In addition, two other large surveys took place in 2015 — ESPAD, and research on the use of tobacco, alcohol and other illicit drugs in prisons.

See Drug-related research for more detailed information. 

Data sheet — key statistics on the drug situation

Content for Data sheet 
        EU range      
  Year   Country data Min. Max.      
Problem opioid use (rate/1 000) 2013   3.71 0.2 10.7      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   75.9% 4% 90%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   55.5% 2% 89%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2014   10.8% 7% 52%      
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2010   EUR 23 EUR 23 EUR 140      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   3.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   1.2% 0% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.5% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   6.0% 0% 38%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   5.5% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2014   49.8% 20% 64%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2010   EUR 65 EUR 47 EUR 107      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   0.8% 0% 3%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.3% 0% 1%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.5% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 75%      
Purity (%) 2014   12.0% 1% 49%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2010   EUR 22 EUR 3 EUR 63      
  :   :          
Ecstasy :   :          
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   0.8% 0% 6%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   0.3% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 2%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) 2014   86 mg 27 mg 131 mg      
Price per tablet (EUR) 2010   EUR 7 EUR 4 EUR 16      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   23.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2012   10.3% 0% 24%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2012   4.4% 0% 11%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   12.2% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   36.4% 7% 77%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2014   8.5% 3% 15%      
Potency — resin (%) 2014   11.6% 3% 29%      
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2010   EUR 6 EUR 3 EUR 23      
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2010   EUR 11 EUR 3 EUR 22      
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 2.7 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (cases / million) 2014   1.0 0.0 50.9      
HIV prevalence (%) 2014   3.6% 0% 31%      
HCV prevalence (%) 2014   37.0% 15% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2014   20.0 2.4 113.2      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2014   494 890 382 7 199 660      
Clients in substitution treatment 2014   3 190 178 161 388      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2014   419 271 100 456      
New clients 2014   110 28 35 007      
All clients with known primary drug 2014   419 271 97 068      
New clients with known primary drug 2014   110 28 34 088      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2014   4 496 537 282 177      
Offences for use/possession 2014   4 069 13 398 422      

Key national figures and statistics

Content for Key national figures and statistics 

b Break in time series.

e Estimated.

p Eurostat provisional value.

: Not available.

1 Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economic activity. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. The volume index of GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) is expressed in relation to the European Union (EU-27) average set to equal 100. If the index of a country is higher than 100, this country's level of GDP per head is higher than the EU average and vice versa.

2  Expenditure on social protection contains: benefits, which consist of transfers in cash or in kind to households and individuals to relieve them of the burden of a defined set of risks or needs.

3 Unemployment rates represent unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. Unemployed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 74 who were: (a) without work during the reference week; (b) currently available for work; (c) actively seeking work.

4 Situation of penal institutions on 1 September, 2014.

5 Share of persons aged 0+ with an equivalent disposable income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

  Year Slovenia EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 2 061 085 506 944 075 bep Eurostat
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 10.1 % 11.3 % bep Eurostat
25–49 36.3 % 34.7 % bep
50–64 21.5 % 19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1  2014 83 100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2  2013 25.0 p : Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3  2015 9.0 % 9.4 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years  2015 16.3 % 20.3 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4  2014 73.8  : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2014.1
At risk of poverty rate 5  2014 14.5 % 17.2 % SILC

Contact information for our focal point

Address and contact 

National Institute of Public Health

Trubarjeva 2
SLO-1000 Ljubljana
Tel. +386 15202776
Fax +386 15205778

Head of national focal point: Mr Milan Krek

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