Policy and practice briefings: Reducing opioid-related deaths


Mortality directly or indirectly related to use of opioids is a major cause of avoidable premature deaths among European adults. Overall drug-related mortality rates are 1–2 % per year among high-risk opioid users in Europe and drug overdoses account for over 7 000 deaths per annum. Other important causes of death among high-risk opioid users are infections, accidents, violence and suicide. This policy and practice briefing provides an overview of the key issues, response options, evidence and implications for policy and practice.