Overdose Deaths Still Problematic in Estonia, European Agency Finds

(PM/Scanpix)
5/28/2014 3:10 PM
Category: Society

The annual report published by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addition (EMCDDA) yesterday finds that in the most recent year surveyed, 2012, Estonia still stood out with the high rate of overdose deaths and new HIV cases.  

Overdose deaths dropped in some countries, but Estonia saw a 38 percent upward leap.

Average overdose mortality was 17 per million in the EU; Estonia's was 191.

Estonia was followed by other Nordic countries - Norway, Sweden and Finland - and Ireland, but the figures for these countries were only five, not 10 times above the average.

New HIV cases have tapered off - 246 per 100,000 people in 2011, 235 in 2012 - but the incidence per 100,000 people is still high compared to the rest of Europe.

Fentanyl is the main opiate abused in Estonia. The epidemic is considered by many experts to be ageing and largely confined to Russian-speaking people in Ida-Viru County, but there is always the potential for "bridges" to the general population. Heroin accounts for a very small share of the market. However, the street price of heroin is also the lowest in Europe - 10-15 euros per dose. A gram of cocaine cost 80-120 euros and a gram of cannabis, 7 euros, the EMCDDA said.   

The report is here


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