Improving the validity of drug-related deaths data for policy making
In the latest reporting year in Europe (28 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway), more than 9 500 lives, were reported to be lost to drug overdoses, most of which related to opioids. This is very likely to be an underestimate and whereas monitoring the burden of drug-related deaths and the characteristics of the victims remain a major challenge for informing the public debate and for public health policy making, there are limitations in the data available and differences across Europe, with regards to the completeness and validity of this data.
Aim: To present the drug-related death situation across Europe, to discuss the validity of the data and ways for improvement. To discuss practical examples in different countries where robust data clearly identify protective and risk factors for drug-related deaths, and in turn are instrumental to inform urgent policy making.