Estimates and Trends in Prevalence and Incidence of Problem Drug Use in Germany, 2011

Problem Drug Use and Its Correlates

"Calculations based on figures collected from treatment, police contacts and drug-related deaths lead to an estimated figure of problem heroin users ranging between 63,000 and 185,000 persons (with the estimates of the year 2010 serving as a calculation basis). This corresponds to a quota of 1.2 to 3.4 persons per 1,000 population in the age group of 15 to 64 year olds (Table 4.1).
"In comparison to 2009, the estimate for the year 2010 is higher as a result of the multiplier 'therapy demand'. This is presumably attributable mainly to the fact that the number of therapy admissions increased in 2010 compared to 2009. For the year 2010, the methodological basis for the calculation of the estimate of the total number of outpatient facilities and thus the extrapolation was partially adjusted. The estimates since then have been undertaken on the basis of the total number of outpatient facilities, taken from the facilities register (Süss & Pfeiffer-Gerschel 2011). A more detailed presentation of the methods used can be found in the REITOX Report 2010.
"The number of heroin users who have come to the attention of the police for the first time has been on a strong decline for some years (2000: 7,914; 2011: 2,742). At the same time, the portion of drug-related deaths that had been recorded before as users who had come to the attention of the police for the first time, remained constant between 2005 and 2008 (n=40). After a slight reduction in 2009 (n=38) and an unchanged value in 2010, this value fell sharply once more (n=34). Therefore, one can say that the estimates based on this indicator have been on a continual decline.
"The estimates based on the multiplier 'drug-related deaths' are based on the mortality rate amongst clients in outpatient treatment and the number of drug-related deaths. The former remained relatively constant in comparison to the previous year (2010: 0.9%-1.5%; 2011: 1.1%-1.6%), the latter fell sharply in 2011 compared to 2010 (2010: 1,237; 2011: 986). The estimates based on the multiplier 'drug-related deaths' thus declined sharply for 2011 in comparison to 2010.
"The estimates for the multiplier 'police contacts' have been falling since 2005. The same applies for the multiplier 'drug-related deaths' for the years since 2008. The estimates based on the multiplier 'treatment demand' fell from 2008 to 2009 before rising slightly again in 2010. One can, therefore, not observe any clear tendency."


German Reference Centre for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (Deutsche Beobachtungsstelle fuer Drogen und Drogensucht (DBDD)), "2012 National Report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: Germany: New Developments, Trends and In-Depth Information on Selected Issues - Drug Situation 2011/2012" (Munich, Germany: DBDD, Oct. 2012), pp. 88-89.