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Table 1 Epidemiological indicators for people who use drugs being used at European Union level

From: Monitoring quality and coverage of harm reduction services for people who use drugs: a consensus study

Domain Indicators Countries, out of 30, reporting in 2011–2015b Data type Additional information
Prevalence of drug use in the general populationa Prevalence of lifetime use, last year use, last month use 25 % Representative (household) surveys with breakdowns by drug, age, gender, complemented by school surveys in 15-16 year old students (ESPAD)
High-risk drug use/problem drug usea,c Population size estimates of high-risk PWUD including hidden populations (all, opioids, stimulants, PWID) 25 Rate/1000 Confidence intervals, estimation methods
Treatment demanda Clients entering treatment 30 Counts Breakdowns by ever previously treated, treatment type, prison, main drug, sex, age at treatment, age at first use, referral source, living status, education, labour status, route of administration, frequency of use
Overdose deathsa Number of deaths, average age 30 Counts Breakdowns by gender, toxicology, ICD code
Infectious diseasesa Notifications and prevalence of HIV/AIDS, HBV, HCV among PWID Prevalence: HIV 29 HCV 25, HBV 18–16; notifications: HIV/AIDS 30/29 Counts, % Prevalence among young and new PWID
Seizures of drugs Number, quantity in kg 28, 30 Counts, weights Seizures by drug class, cannabis plants, tablets/doses
Price, purity/potency Price, potency/purity 29, 29 Euro/g, % (%THC)e Sample size, summary statistics, composition (% MDMAd/(meth)amphetamines)
Drug use in prison Prevalence of lifetime use, last year use, last month use 10 % Breakdowns by: before/in prison, drug class
Drug law offences Number of: offences, offenders, either 25, 21, 30 Counts Breakdowns by type (use, supply), drug class
  1. aFive ‘key epidemiological indicators’. Available at
  2. bYear of reporting data to EMCDDA–the actual study year (year of primary data collection) is mostly 1 year earlier
  3. cThis key indicator has been renamed from ‘Problem Drug Use’ (definition: ‘injecting drug use or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines’) to ‘High Risk Drug Use’ (definition: ‘recurrent drug use that is causing actual harms (negative consequences) to the person (including dependence but also other health, psychological or social problems), or is placing the person at a high probability/risk of suffering such harms’). It attempts to define and estimate the population size of those PWUD that are likely to be in need of services due to having (a high risk of) negative consequences from their drug use, such as PWID or people who use opioids
  4. d3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (‘ecstasy’)
  5. eTetrahydrocannabinol