"Studies reporting estimates of high-risk drug use can help to identify the extent of the more entrenched drug use problems, while data on first-time entrants to specialised drug treatment centres, when considered alongside other indicators, can inform an understanding of the nature of and trends in high-risk drug use.

"The population of high-risk opioid users in Germany was estimated by means of two multiplier methods using two data sources: drug-induced deaths in 2017 and treatment admissions in 2016. These estimates ranged from 0.94 to 2.96 high-risk opioid users per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15-64 years.

"High-risk stimulant use has become more common in Germany. The latest estimate of high-risk use of amphetamines and/or cocaine, based on 2016 treatment data, was 1.64-1.95 per 1 000 inhabitants aged 15-64 years.

"Data from specialised treatment centres indicate that the number of first-time treatment clients seeking help as a result of use of amphetamines reported in 2016 has increased recently and is higher than the number of first-time clients seeking treatment for opioid use. Among treatment entrants, heroin is increasingly being smoked or snorted. In addition, local data suggest that injecting heroin is becoming less prevalent.

"In the 2015 ESA, approximately 1.2 % of the population aged 18-64 years in Germany (around 612 000 people) reported indications of clinically relevant cannabis use in the 12-month period studied, according to the Severity of Dependence Scale. Moreover, cannabis users constitute the largest proportion of first-time treatment clients of specialised treatment services, although this may be the result of the progressive development of special programmes for this target group."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2019), Germany, Country Drug Report 2019, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.