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EMCDDA. Prevention of drug-related deaths

Introduction: Worldwide, overdose is the leading cause of avoidable death among people who inject drugs. It accounts for nearly half of all deaths among people who inject heroin, exceeding HIV and other disease-related deaths (UNODC, 2017).

More than 9 000 lives were reported to be lost to drug overdoses in Europe (28 EU Member States, Norway and Turkey) in 2017, the latest reporting year, and this is an underestimate. The number of drug-related deaths in Europe has been rising for 5 years (EMCDDA, 2019a). Reducing drug-related deaths therefore remains a major challenge for European public health policy. (EMCDDA, September 2019)