Home > Opioids: health and social responses.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2021) Opioids: health and social responses. Lisbon: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

External website: https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/mini-gui...

The opioids miniguide provides an overview of the most important aspects to consider when planning or delivering health and social responses to opioid-related problems, and reviews the availability and effectiveness of the responses. It also considers implications for policy and practice.

This miniguide is one of a larger set, which together comprise Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide 2021. The guide supports practitioners and policymakers in tackling the negative consequences of drug use.

Key issues
Although the prevalence of opioid dependence among European adults is low and varies considerably between countries, it is associated with a disproportionate amount of drug-related harm, which includes infectious diseases and other health problems, mortality, unemployment, crime, homelessness and social exclusion. Heroin use remains a major concern, but in many European countries the use of synthetic opioids has also been growing and, in a few now predominates. In some parts of the world, the non-medical use of opioid medications has become a major public health issue. In Europe, there are concerns that this problem may be increasing, but the available data suggests that this practice currently accounts for a relatively small share of overall opioid-related harms. This issue is explored in more detail in Non-medical use of medicines: health and social responses.

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