Fentanyl overdose deaths emergency and response in Estonia
The drug overdoses death rate in Estonia has been the highest in the EU for years. In the period 1999-2017, a total of 1,639 people have died because of drug overdoses. While most deaths (81%) are related to fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, as a response, the THN program is being implemented in Estonia since 2013. Until the end of 2017, 2,085 people have completed training, 2,089 sets with pre-filled naloxone syringes were distributed, and, in 597 cases, trained recipients were provided with a second naloxone set. In most cases (90%), the reported reason for the renewed naloxone request was that the original syringe was used to save a life. Between 2013-2017, drug related death cases declined in Estonia, but the overall level remains high. However, a drastic decrease in drug-related deaths in 2018 is assumed to be due to a shortage of fentanyl on the drug market, and to the increased availability of take home naloxone.