High-risk amphetamines use: rising treatment demand

Problems related to long-term, chronic and injecting amphetamine use have, historically, been most evident in northern European countries. In contrast, long-term methamphetamine problems have been most apparent in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Recent estimates of high-risk use of amphetamines are available for Norway, estimated at 0.33 % or 11 200 adults and for Germany, estimated at 0.19 % or 102 000 users in 2015. Users of amphetamines are likely to make up the majority of the estimated 2 180 (0.17 %) high-risk stimulant users reported by Latvia in 2014, down from 6 540 (0.46 %) in 2010. Recent estimates of high-risk methamphetamine use are available for the Czech Republic and Cyprus. In the Czech Republic, high-risk methamphetamine use among adults (15–64) was estimated at around 0.49 % in 2015. High-risk use of the drug, mainly injecting, increased from 20 900 users in 2007 to a peak of 36 400 in 2014, declining to 34 200 in 2015. The estimate for Cyprus is 0.14 % or 678 users in 2015.

Approximately 34 000 clients entering specialised drug treatment in Europe in 2015 reported amphetamines as their primary drug, of whom around 14 000 were first-time clients. Primary amphetamine users account for more than 15 % of first-time treatment entrants only in Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Finland. Treatment entrants reporting primary methamphetamine use are concentrated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which together account for 90 % of the 9 000 methamphetamine clients in specialised treatment in Europe. Overall, the increasing trend in first-time treatment entrants reporting amphetamine or methamphetamine as their primary drug, observed from 2006 until 2014, continued in 2015 in most countries.

Amphetamines users entering treatment


28 %

72 %

Mean age at first...




Frequency of use in the last month


mean use 4.4 days per week

Route of administration


Trends in first-time entrants


Characteristics are for all treatment entrants with amphetamines as primary drug. Trends in first-time entrants are based on 23 countries.