Estonia country overview

Estonia country overview

Map of Estonia

About NFP: 

The national focal point is located within the Infectious Disease and Drug Monitoring Department of the National Institute for Health Development (NIHD). The department collects, harmonises and analyses data on illicit drugs in Estonia, and disseminates information and cooperates with European Union (EU) and non-EU national focal points, and other international bodies and organisations.

E-mail addresses have been inserted in a way discouraging spam. Please replace [a] by @ before actually using any of the e-mail addresses.

Last updated: Thursday, May 19, 2016

Drug use among the general population and young people

Content for prevalence: 

The most recent general population survey on drugs was conducted in 2008 among a sample of 1 401 people aged 15–64. Whilst a 2003 survey found that 15 % of people aged 15–64 had tried illicit drugs at some point in their lives, the 2008 survey found that 21 % of people in the same age group had tried drugs. Lifetime prevalence of illicit drug use had increased in both the older and the younger age groups, but it was considerably higher in the younger age groups. The increase was particularly significant in the 25–34 age group; in 2008 some 36 % of this group had already tried an illicit drug at least once in their lifetime (16 % in 2003). Cannabis remained the most prevalent illicit substance used among those aged 15–34, with last year prevalence at 13.6 % and last month prevalence at 3.2 % in 2008 (10.1 % and 3.3 % respectively in 2003). Amphetamine was the second most frequently used substance during the last year and last month.

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has been conducted regularly in Estonia since 1995. The latest survey was in 2011, based on a nationwide sample of schoolchildren aged 15−16. The results for 1995–2007 revealed an increase in prevalence rates for illicit drug use, with some signs of stabilisation in the latest available study. Lifetime experience of any illicit drug other than cannabis more than tripled between 1995 (2 %) and 1999 (9 %), reached 10 % in 2003, but declined to 8 % in 2011. In 1995 some 7 % reported lifetime use of cannabis. This increased to 23 % in 2003; 26 % in 2007; and 24 % in 2011. Lifetime use of ecstasy, which increased from 3 % in 1999 to 6 % in 2007, fell to 3 % in 2009. In 2003 the lifetime prevalence of amphetamine use was 7 %; in 2011 it had decreased to 3 %. Last year prevalence of cannabis use was 17 % in 2011, and last month prevalence was 6 %. In terms of gender distribution, males reported use of illicit substances more frequently than females; however, while the prevalence rates for males remained stable in 2011 compared to 2007, there was an increase in prevalence among females.

A health behaviour survey among the Estonian adult population (aged 16–64), conducted in 2014, indicated lifetime prevalence of cannabis use at 19 %, with males reporting twice as frequently as females.

Look for Prevalence of drug use in the 'Statistical bulletin' for more information


Content for prevention: 

Since 2013 drug prevention issues have been covered under the National Health Plan 2009–20, and its Action Plan 2013–16 in very general terms. The implementation of the strategy is managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. However, at the start of 2014 the White Paper on Drug Prevention Policy, agreed by all ministries, was adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers. It sets out in detail the objectives for substance abuse prevention in Estonia until 2018.

Universal prevention activities are mainly implemented in school settings. Life skills based education is integrated in the subject syllabus of personal, social and health education for grades 2, 5 and 8. A new textbook is being developed to assist in the course’s implementation. Following a comprehensive assessment of school-based drug prevention activities in the previous years, new visual aids, a film and information leaflets were prepared for use by teachers in classroom settings and were distributed to schools and youth centres. In 2014 the National Institute for Health Development published guidelines on recommended drug prevention activities for schools settings. Internationally recognised prevention programmes are increasingly promoted and implemented in Estonia. A Swedish alcohol prevention programme, Effekt, addressing 5th grade students and their parents, has been implemented in 34 schools in the Estonian health promoting school network. The programme, first implemented for slightly older pupil and their parents, has had a noticeable impact on reducing episodes of drunkenness among children and has had a positive effect on children’s antisocial behaviour. With the support of the Ministry of Interior, 21 schools introduced The Good Behaviour Game in 2014/15, a programme that has proved to be effective in preventing school failure and drop out, and in preventing criminal and other risky behaviours. Parents are also targeted through special publications, a website, the Ministry of Interior website, awareness campaigns on Facebook and training activities in workplaces. Nineteen youth centres across Estonia, funded by the Ministry of Education and Research, provide drug prevention information and counselling to young people, and new instructional material on health issues, including drugs, was published in 2011 for professionals working in the centres. Several local initiatives, such as early interventions for use with children showing evidence of problems in school settings, counselling interventions for young people and games promoting an addiction-free lifestyle, have been implemented. A website of the National Institute for Health Development provides the general public with information on drug-related issues.

Selective prevention activities target children who are at risk and their parents, and young people in specialised educational settings. These include activities to promote the adoption of healthy behaviour, to strengthen coping and promote social skills, and facilitate self-expression through artistic activities. For example, SPIN, similar to the Kickz programme developed in the United Kingdom, aims to create alternative leisure activities for children in high-risk groups.

The only indicated prevention activities in Estonia target minors and young people in contact with juvenile committees in the north of the country; however, the number of beneficiaries of this programme remains small.

See the Prevention profile for Estonia for more information.

Problem drug use

Content for problem drug use: 

Up to 2012 the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) defined problem drug use as injecting drug use or long duration/regular use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines. However, in 2012 a new definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adopted. The new definition includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

The latest estimate of the number of injecting drug users was conducted in 2010 using a capture–recapture method and three administrative databases: the causes of death register, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the POLIS database. The estimated number of injecting drug users aged 15–44 in Estonia in 2009 was 5 362 (sensitivity interval: 3 906–9 837). When transformed to the EMCDDA standard age range (15–64), there were estimated to be 5.9 injecting drug users per 1 000 inhabitants (sensitivity interval: 4.3–10.8). This estimate also approximately corresponds to high-risk opioid use prevalence in Estonia.

No estimates for high-risk drug using populations by substance are available in Estonia.

Look for High risk drug-use in the Statistical bulletin for more information.

Treatment demand

Content for treatment demand: 

The national monitoring system in Estonia is called the National Drug Treatment Database (NDTD). It is coordinated by the National Institute for Health Development. All treatment units are obliged to send individual data to NDTD through an internet program to the national level.

In 2014 a total of 281 clients entered treatment, of which 57 were new clients entering treatment for the first time.

Opioids users (mainly illicit fentanyl or 3-methylfentanyl) constituted the overwhelming majority of all treatment clients (253 persons) and of new treatment clients (57 persons) in 2014. Cannabis or amphetamines were reported as the main problem substance for most of the remaining clients. Overall, 78 % of all treatment clients and 65 % of new treatment clients whose primary substance of abuse was opioid injected it.

In 2014 the mean age of all treatment clients was 32, while new treatment clients tended to be younger, on average 28 years old. The gender distribution was similar for all and new treatment clients who were admitted to treatment in 2014. Thus 77 % of clients were male and 23 % female.

Look for Treatment demand indicator in the Statistical bulletin for more information.

Drug-related infectious diseases

Content for drug-related infectious diseases: 

National data on drug-related infectious diseases are collected by the Health Board, which receives information from various sources including hospitals, clinics and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing centres and laboratories. Behavioural surveillance studies among people who inject drugs (PWID) using a responded-driven sampling method have been implemented in Tallinn, Kohtla-Jarve and Narva in Ida-Viru County.

In 2001 the Health Board registered the highest number (1 340) of newly diagnosed HIV infections among PWID. This number subsequently decreased between 2002 and 2007 (from 702 to 115). Although there was a sharp decline in the number of newly registered HIV cases among PWID in 2008 compared to previous years, with 36 new cases detected, in 2009 the number increased to 85. There were 62 newly notified cases in 2010; 69 in 2011; 72 in both 2012 and 2013; and 67 in 2014. In recent years the transmission route has been unknown for two-thirds to a quarter of newly registered HIV cases, and therefore the data should be interpreted with caution. The number of people infected with HIV registered by the Health Board in 2014 was 291, which continued the steady decline observed since 2007 (633 cases in 2007; 545 in 2008; 411 in 2009; 372 in 2010; 315 in 2012; 325 in 2013).

Sero-behavioural studies carried out between 2005 and 2013 among injecting drug users indicated that more than half of those tested were HIV positive. In 2013 HIV prevalence among 350 tested PWID in Tallinn was 57.9 %, while in 2012 HIV prevalence among 599 tested PWID in Kohtla-Jarve was 61.8 %. More recent HIV prevalence data from Narva indicate HIV prevalence at 48.3 % among 350 tested PWID in 2014.

Statistics from the Health Board indicate that in 2014 there were five cases of acute and 134 cases of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection registered as linked to injecting drug use. Between 2002 and 2012 there was a decline in the incidence of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, which is attributed to the widespread availability of immunisation among infants and children aged 13. The bio-behavioural surveillance studies among PWID in Kohtla-Jarve indicated HCV prevalence rates of 75 % in 2012 (599 people tested) and 76 % in 2010 (350 tested). In a similar study in Tallinn in 2013 the prevalence of HCV was 90.2 % (326 tested). In 2014 some 61.3 % of 349 PWID in a needle and syringe programme tested positive for HCV.

Look for Drug-related infectious diseases in the Statistical bulletin for more information.

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

Content for drug-induced deaths: 

Data on drug-induced deaths are reported from the causes of death register (the General Mortality Register). Data extraction and reporting is in line with the EMCDDA definitions and recommendations.

Following a record number of 170 cases of drug-induced deaths recorded in 2012, in 2013 a total number of 111 deaths were reported, and further decline is noted in 2014 when there were 98 reported cases. This decline occurred against a background of enhance prevention of overdose, namely a take-home naloxone pilot programme launched in September 2013. Toxicology was known for all cases, and 92 of these deaths were attributed to overdose by synthetic opioids, fentanyl and 3-methylfentanyl in particular, and in many instances other psychoactive substances were also present. With regard to the distribution of drug-induced deaths by gender, the majority were male (86 cases). The deceased were on average 33.4 years old. This is an increase compared to the early years of the twenty-first century, when most cases were in their early twenties.

Based on these data, the drug-induced mortality rate among adults aged 15–64 was 113 deaths per million in 2014. The mortality rate in Estonia has been an outlier for some years and is considerably higher than the European average of 19.2 deaths per million.

Look for Drug-related deaths ​in the Statistical bulletin for more information.

Treatment responses

Content for treatment responses: 

Until 2012 drug treatment was part of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Drug Dependency. Following its completion, the treatment of drug addiction is now covered by the National Health Plan 2009–20 (RTA) and the implementation plan for 2013–16. Treatment is through the state budget, allocated according to the RTA implementation plan, and almost half of the budget goes to the implementation of opioid substitution treatment (OST). Some larger municipalities also allocate funding for drug treatment. The Estonian Health Insurance Fund does not finance drug addiction treatment.

Traditionally, drug treatment in Estonia is mostly provided through hospitals, which obtain a licence for mental health services in order to provide inpatient and outpatient treatment for problem drug users. According to the Mental Health Act (RT I 1997, 16, 260), only a psychiatrist can provide drug treatment, although they are not required to be specialists in drug treatment. In general, outpatient treatment dominates (seven centres) and inpatient treatment services remain limited (one centre for adults and one for children). The available treatment methods covered by state or local funding include detoxification, methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), medication-free treatment and 12-steps programme-based rehabilitation (treatment communities, outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation programmes), although OST prevails among the available treatment options. Special drug treatment programmes for children and adolescents and persons with dual diagnosis are also available, although treatment options for those groups and for amphetamine injectors, whose prevalence among drug users seems to be on the increase, remain limited. Four medical units in prisons also provide drug treatment.

Methadone detoxification has been available in Estonia since 1998, but although MMT was officially introduced in 2001 it has only been used on a significant scale since 2003 with the opening of a specialist centre. In 2014 MMT was available in eight treatment centres. However, treatment capacities still seem to be unable to meet the growing number of treatment demands in recent years.

In 2014 an estimated 919 clients received MMT provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The number of clients in substitution treatment decreased in 2014, when compared to 2012 and 2013. Although the coverage of OST is not known due to the lack of an estimate of the size of the opioid-using population, it is assumed to be relatively low (<20 %).

See the Treatment profile for Estonia for additional information.

Harm reduction responses

Content for harm reduction responses: 

The Government started funding syringe exchange in 2003, within the framework of the national HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention programme, and its coverage and quality has improved over the years. Since 2012 the overall strategic guidance for implementing harm reduction activities is provided by the National Health Plan 2009–20, and activities are implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are the main institutions providing services for drug users, and they aim to reduce drug-related harm via activities such as counselling, HIV testing and needle and syringe programmes. New national guidance recommends annual HIV testing for the 18- to 49-year-old population attending primary care. Free testing and counselling is available at AIDS prevention centres and other locations in nine Estonian cities, but diagnostic blood-testing services cannot be offered by NGOs due to legal provisions.

Taking into account that tuberculosis remains a significant health challenge among people who live with HIV, free screening for tuberculosis is provided on a regular basis for high-risk groups not covered by health insurance, such as PWID, residents of shelters and prisoners.

Around 2.1 million syringes were distributed in 2014 through a total of 36 syringe exchange sites (14 stationary and 22 outreach programmes, all operated by NGOs). The prison population, sex workers and men who have sex with men are also seen as target groups and are provided with specific harm reduction services. In 2013 the National Institute for Health Development responded to the high rate of drug-related deaths in the country by launching the take-home naloxone pilot programme in the two most affected counties. As part of the programme, opioid users and their relatives are taught to recognise overdose, administer the antidote naloxone and provide first aid until emergency services arrive.

See the Harm reduction overview for Estonia for additional information.

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Content for Drug markets and drug-law offences: 

The general trends in drug production and trafficking in Estonia have not changed significantly in recent years, with the country regarded as a transit country for smuggling illicit substances to Russia and neighbouring Scandinavian countries. Herbal cannabis is trafficked to Estonia mainly from the Netherlands, while cannabis resin intercepted in Estonia is intended mainly for the Russian market. Heroin is mainly smuggled in through eastern borders and in very small quantities, as there is no domestic market for it. Fentanyl, the most prevalent synthetic opioid used in Estonia, is smuggled from Russia. Ecstasy originates in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany, while other synthetic drugs (i.e. amphetamine and methamphetamine) are mainly smuggled to Estonia from the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania and are destined for other Scandinavian countries. Domestic production of amphetamine and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is reported, but in rather small quantities. There is some indication of increased Subutex smuggling from western European through Estonia to other Scandinavian countries. Although in recent years Estonia was used as an entry point to the European Union for large quantities of cocaine coming from South America, which was illustrated by a record 218 kg of cocaine seized in 2010, in the following year 34 seizures resulted in only 0.83 kg of cocaine being seized, and in 2013–14 the amount seized was almost ten times less than in 2010.

There has been an increase in the amounts of cannabis products seized in recent years. Thus in 2014 a total of 507 seizures involving herbal cannabis resulted in the seizures of 351.1 kg of substance, which is a record for the country. From 31 cannabis resin seizures 273.1 kg of substance was seized, while 30 seizures of cannabis plants resulted in 13.2 kg of plants. In 2014 a record amount of 35.51 kg of methamphetamine were seized. Similarly to 2013, law enforcement continued to reduce the availability of illicit fentanyl in 2014, mainly among street vendors, but the quantity seized had reduced when compared to 2012 13.

Almost 172.4 kg of GHB was seized in 2014, which is a record amount of the substance. In 2014 Estonia also reported seizures of khat, ecstasy, amphetamine and very small quantities of heroin. Cannabinoids were the main new psychoactive substances seized in Estonia in 2014.

A total of 4 162 initial reports on drug-law offences (criminal offences and misdemeanours) were reported in 2014, fewer than in 2012 and 2013, and more than in 2010 and 2011, but still fewer than the number reported between 2001–08. The vast majority of the reports (70 %) are on use-related offences.

Look for Drug law offences in the Statistical bulletin for additional data.

National drug laws

Content for National drug laws: 

The Act on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Precursors Thereof regulates the field of narcotics and psychotropic substances in Estonia. Under this law, unauthorised consumption of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances without a prescription, or illegal manufacture, acquisition or possession of small quantities of any narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, is punishable by a fine (usually applied by the police) or by detention of up to 30 days. However, proceedings for misdemeanours may be suspended for reasons of expediency. Repeated use and personal possession were deleted as criminal offences from 1 September 2002.

Any act of illegal possession or dealing in drugs not intended solely for personal use is considered a criminal offence, regardless of the type and amount of illicit drug. Activities such as illegal manufacture, acquisition, theft or robbery, storage, transport or delivery of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances with the intent to supply are punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment for the smallest quantities, through to 6–20 years and even life in prison, depending on the quantities involved and other defined aggravating circumstances, such as organised crime.

In 2011 Parliament adopted a legal basis for the implementation of treatment for addiction as an alternative punishment for drug addicts. The treatment can be applied only in cases when a person is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of six months to two years and he/she agrees to undergo the treatment course.

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are regulated by amending schedules of narcotic and psychotropic substances, and in 2013 a new schedule — Schedule V — was added in order to regulate turnover of NPS, in particular for cases when a substance is sold with the intention to cause intoxication, while it may also have other legal applications beyond that purpose. This was specifically required to regulate the industrial trade in γ-Butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-Butanediol (1,4-BD).

Go to the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) for additional information.

National drug strategy

Content for National drug strategy: 

Estonia’s drug policy is elaborated in two strategic documents, the National Health Plan 2009–20 and the White Paper on Drug Prevention Policy.

Following the completion of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Drug Dependency 2004–12, measures to reduce drug use have been addressed as part of the National Health Plan 2009–20 and its Action Plan 2013–16. The plan seeks to prevent and reduce the consumption of narcotic substances and reduce the health and social damage caused by drug use. This change reflects adjustments to objective-setting and strategy development in other policy areas, where overarching cross-cutting strategies such as the National Health Plan 2009–20 have replaced individual strategies in some areas. While the Minister of Social Affairs holds overall responsibility for the National Health Plan 2009–20, the Minister of the Interior is responsible for drugs issues within the plan and its action plans.

Adopted by the Government in January 2014, the White Paper on Drug Prevention Policy elaborates Estonia’s drug policy. Its main objective is to continually reduce drug use and the harms arising from it in Estonia. The White Paper follows the European Union’s balanced approach to drug policy and is structured around seven pillars: (i) supply reduction; (ii) universal primary prevention; (iii) early detection and intervention; (iv) harm reduction; (v) treatment and rehabilitation; (vi) re-socialisation; and (vii) monitoring. Specific actions for achieving the individual objectives of each pillar are specified in an action plan appended to the White Paper addressing the period until 2018. The White Paper on Drug Prevention Policy functions as a guide for planning the inclusion of drug policy issues and responses as part of other areas of Estonian public administration. For example, the approach it sets out is followed in the National Health Plan 2009–20 and its Action Plan 2013–16.

Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

Content for Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs: 

The Government Committee on Drug Prevention is responsible for coordination at the inter-ministerial level. Its tasks are: setting drug prevention priorities; monitoring and assessing ongoing actions; proposing policy solutions and advising the government on drug problems; and coordinating measures related to drugs enacted under the National Health Plan 2009–20. The Minister of the Interior chairs the committee. It has members from the Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Social Affairs.

A series of working groups based around the pillars of the 2014 White Paper on Drug Prevention Policy play an important role in implementing drug policy. The working groups comprise representatives from relevant ministries, agencies and service providers. Each working group is led by a permanent chair, all of which are members of a task force designed to address overlaps and advise the Government Committee on Drug Prevention.

The Department of Public Health within the Ministry of Social Affairs is the permanent coordination unit in the drugs field. The Minister of Social Affairs informs the government on the progress of the implementation of the national drugs strategy. The Infectious Diseases and Drug Monitoring Department of the National Institute for Health Development (the national focal point) is a member of the Government Committee for Drug Prevention and is responsible for drafting annual reports on the drug situation for this committee.

At the local level, Health Coordination Committees, which exist throughout Estonia, address drug issues as part of their work.

Public expenditure

Content for Public expenditure: 

The 2007–09 and 2011 Action Plans had annual associated budgets. An evaluation report on the implementation of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Drug Dependency 2004–12 was completed at the start of 2013. Among other conclusions, this report stressed that a shortcoming of the expiring strategy was its limited budget. This budget has not been made public, however. The new national strategy, the National Health Plan 2009–20, has still not presented an associated budget. Estimates for labelled drug-related public expenditures (1) have, however, been published since 2007. The methodology used to collect and estimate these expenditures cannot be assessed, but results appear to be comparable over time (except for 2012).

The latest data, from 2011, show that labelled drug-related expenditures represented 0.023 % of gross domestic product (GDP). Between 2007 and 2011 labelled expenditures were classified as demand reduction activities (about 76 %) and supply reduction activities (about 24 %).

Based on the available data, trend analysis shows that between 2008 and 2010 labelled expenditures fell from 0.027 % of GDP in 2007 to 0.021 % in 2010. This decrease was probably associated with the public austerity measures following the economic recession of 2008. The largest decrease was reported in supply reduction until 2009. In 2010 labelled expenditures in supply reduction registered a nominal increase, while expenditures in demand reduction activities declined further. In 2011 labelled expenditures recovered partially to 0.023 % of GDP. Comparable data are not available for 2012, 2013 or 2014.

(1) Some of the funds allocated by governments for expenditure on tasks related to drugs are identified as such in the budget (‘labelled’). Often, however, the bulk of drug-related expenditure is not identified (‘unlabelled’) and must be estimated by modelling.

Drug-related research

Content for Drug-related research: 

Drug-related research, previously organised under the National Strategy for the Prevention of Drug Dependency 2004–12 and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, is now under the National Health Plan 2009–20 and its Action Plan 2013–16. The state research funds are primarily managed by the Ministry of Education and Research, but most research projects in the field of drugs and HIV/AIDS are funded through the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and foreign (mainly United States) or European Union research funds. The main research institutions in the field of drugs are universities (e.g. the University of Tartu, Department of Public Health; the Institute of International and Social Studies) and research and development institutes such as the National Institute for Health Development. Recent drug-related studies mainly focused on aspects related to the consequences of drug use. Dissemination of research findings is mainly carried out through the national focal point, universities, scientific journals and the media.

See Drug-related research for more detailed information.

Data sheet — key statistics on the drug situation

Content for Data sheet: 

        EU range      
  Year   Country data Min. Max.      
Problem opioid use (rate/1 000) :   : 0.2 10.7      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   90.0% 4% 90%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   89.5% 2% 89%      
Purity — heroin brown (%) 2014 1 22.0% 7% 52%      
Price per gram — heroin brown (EUR) 2006   EUR 74 EUR 23 EUR 140      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   2.0% 1% 5%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2008   1.3% 0% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2008   0.7% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.4% 0% 38%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 40%      
Purity (%) 2014   39.0% 20% 64%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2009   EUR 92 EUR 47 EUR 107      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   3.0% 1% 7%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2008   2.5% 0% 3%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2008   1.1% 0% 1%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   3.9% 0% 70%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   3.5% 0% 75%      
Purity (%) 2014   18.0% 1% 49%      
Price per gram (EUR) 2009   EUR 17 EUR 3 EUR 63      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   3.0% 1% 4%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2008   2.3% 0% 6%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2008   1.2% 0% 2%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 2%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   0.0% 0% 2%      
Purity (mg of MDMA base per unit) 2014   90 mg 27 mg 131 mg      
Price per tablet (EUR) 2009   EUR 6 EUR 4 EUR 16      
Prevalence of drug use — schools (%) 2011   24.0% 5% 42%      
Prevalence of drug use — young adults (%) 2008   13.6% 0% 24%      
Prevalence of drug use — all adults (%) 2008   6.0% 0% 11%      
All clients entering treatment (%) 2014   3.2% 3% 63%      
New clients entering treatment (%) 2014   7.0% 7% 77%      
Potency — herbal (%) 2014   12.7% 3% 15%      
Potency — resin (%) 2014   10.5% 3% 29%      
Price per gram — herbal (EUR) 2014   EUR 20 EUR 3 EUR 23      
Price per gram — resin (EUR) 2014   EUR 15 EUR 3 EUR 22      
Prevalence of problem drug use                
Problem drug use (rate/1 000) :   : 2.7 10.0      
Injecting drug use (rate/1 000) 2009   5.9 0.2 9.2      
Drug-related infectious diseases/deaths                
HIV infections newly diagnosed (cases / million) 2014   50.9 0.0 50.9      
HIV prevalence (%) :   : 0% 31%      
HCV prevalence (%) :   : 15% 84%      
Drug-related deaths (rate/million) 2014   113.2 2.4 113.2      
Health and social responses                
Syringes distributed 2014   2 110 527 382 7 199 660      
Clients in substitution treatment 2014   919 178 161 388      
Treatment demand                
All clients 2014   281 271 100 456      
New clients 2014   57 28 35 007      
All clients with known primary drug 2014   281 271 97 068      
New clients with known primary drug 2014   57 28 34 088      
Drug law offences                
Number of reports of offences 2014   4 162 537 282 177      
Offences for use/possession 2014   2 862 13 398 422      

Key national figures and statistics

Content for Key national figures and statistics: 

b Break in time series.

e Estimated.

p Eurostat provisional value.

: Not available.

1 Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economic activity. It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. The volume index of GDP per capita in purchasing power standards (PPS) is expressed in relation to the European Union (EU-27) average set to equal 100. If the index of a country is higher than 100, this country’s level of GDP per head is higher than the EU average and vice versa.

2  Expenditure on social protection includes: benefits, which consist of transfers in cash or in kind to households and individuals to relieve them of the burden of a defined set of risks or needs.

3 Unemployment rates represent unemployed people as a percentage of the labour force. Unemployed people comprise those aged 15 to 74 who were: (a) without work during the reference week; (b) currently available for work; (c) actively seeking work.

4 Situation of penal institutions on 1 September, 2014.

5 Share of persons aged 0+ with an equivalent disposable income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

Key figures
  Year   EU (28 countries) Source
Population  2014 1 315 819 506 944 075 bep Eurostat
Population by age classes 15–24  2014 11.2 %  11.3 %  bep Eurostat
25–49  34.7 %  34.7 % bep
50–64  20.0 % 19.9 % bep
GDP per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) 1 2014


100 Eurostat
Total expenditure on social protection (% of GDP) 2 2013 14.8 % : Eurostat
Unemployment rate 3 2015 6.2 % 9.4 % Eurostat
Unemployment rate of population aged under 25 years 2015 13.1 % 20.3 % Eurostat
Prison population rate (per 100 000 of national population) 4 2014 225.1 : Council of Europe, SPACE I-2014.1
At risk of poverty rate 5 2014 21.8 % b 17.2 %  SILC

Contact information for our focal point

Address and contact: 

National Institute for Health Development (NIHD) — Infectious Diseases and Drug Monitoring Department

Hiiu 42
EE-11619 Tallinn
Tel. +372 6593826
Fax +372 6593901

Head of national focal point: Ms Katri Abel-Ollo

E-mail addresses have been inserted in a way discouraging spam. Please replace [a] by @ before actually using any of the e-mail addresses