National Drug Strategy Cost €12m in 2017, up 500% from 2000

The Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) has published a National Drug Report 2017 which addresses the state of the drugs problem in the Grand Duchy.

The 2017 report aims to describe the framework in which drug use and drug trafficking evolve at the national level by providing a comprehensive overview of historical developments and recent trends.

The National Drug Coordinator’s Office was estalished in 2000. The national drug strategy relies on two pillars, namely on demand reduction and supply reduction and on four transversal axes: 1. Risk, damage and nuisance reduction, 2. Research and information, 3. International relations and 4. Coordination mechanisms. The national drug coordinator, jointly with the Interministerial Committee on Drugs (ICD), follows up and steers the implementation process of the national drugs action plan.

The global budget of the Ministry of Health granted to drug demand reduction related services and programmes has increased from €2,066,000 in 2000 to €12,987,138 in 2017, thus witnessing a progression rate of 529%.

The annual number of PDU (problem drug use) person-contacts indexed by national institutions figured 5,846 in 2016 (multiple counts included; 2002: 4,701). 2,383 users have been indexed by national specialised drug demand reduction agencies and 2,318 drug law offenders by supply reduction agencies in 2002. In 2016, the same agencies have indexed 2,974 and 2,872 persons respectively. Overall the number of persons showing drug-related contacts with DR or SR agencies has discontinuously increased until 2010 and witnessed a first decrease in 2011 to increase agin 2015 onwards. In 2016 an important decrease of contacts registered by supply reduction agencies is noted. Worth mentioning is also the decrease between 2011 and 2013 of national low threshold agencies’ contacts. Successive increases, however, have been been noted 2014 onwards.

According to the latest serial drug use prevalence study (Origer, 2017) performed on 2015 data, the national prevalence of Problem Drug Users (PDU) situates around 2,250 persons. A decreasing trend in the PDU prevalence rate in the national population aged 15 to 64 years has been observed from 2003 onwards. A similar evolution occurred also for Injecting Drug Use (IDU) prevalence since 2009. The prevalence rate of Opioid Use (OU) was estimated for the first time on 2015 data at 4.46 per 1,000 inhabitants aged 15-64 years which equals to approximately 1,700 opiod users.

Injecting heroin and cocaine use associated to poly-drug use have been reported being the most common consume pattern in P DU. The ratio between non-injectors and injectors figured 3/4 in 2016. In 2016, cocaine as primary drug reached a high level (17%) similar to the ones observed in 2014 and 2015 (19.9%, 19%).

The number of persons in contact with the national specialised network for (preferential) cannabis use currently represents 32.8% (23.1% in 2015). Amphetamine type substances and ecstasy related treatment demands are only weakly represented, which, however, does not inform on their prevalence in general population as RELIS data refer to P DU and not to the overall population of recreational drug users. The proportion of poly-drug use has been decreasing 2011 onwards with increasing trends in 2014 (54%) and 2015 (61%) followed by a stabilisation in 2016 (54%).