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Home > Frequently asked questions (FAQ): drug overdose deaths in Europe.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2019) Frequently asked questions (FAQ): drug overdose deaths in Europe. Lisbon: EMCDDA.

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This page provides an update on drug-related deaths in Europe, presenting and analysing the latest data on and trends in drug-induced deaths in the European Union, Norway and Turkey. It draws on contributions from specialists from these countries, as well as on information provided by European countries in the annual reporting exercise to the agency.


The latest European Drug Report showed that over 8,200 deaths involving one or more illicit drugs were reported in 2017 in the European Union. This estimate exceeds 9,400 deaths when Norway and Turkey are included. Men account for four fifths of drug-induced deaths. Most of the deaths were premature, affecting people in their thirties and forties.


An update from the EMCDDA expert network, published in July 2019, also highlighted that opioids, often heroin, are involved in between 8 and 9 out of every 10 drug-induced deaths reported in Europe, although this is not true for all countries. Opioids used in substitution treatment can also be found in post-mortem analyses in some countries. Deaths related to medications, such as oxycodone and tramadol, are also reported. Deaths associated with fentanyl and its analogues are probably underestimated, and outbreaks of deaths related to these substances have been reported.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco), Opioid
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
August 2019
Corporate Creators
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication

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