London adopts new approaches to reduce drug-induced deaths

The London Assembly’s health committee released a new report on 17 March 17 urging Mayor Sadiq Khan to cooperate with the government and police to develop a new strategy to combat drug fatalities in the city. The report argues that drug checking services should be provided in London, including at clubs and music events.

Given the increase in drug-related deaths over the last decade there have been growing calls for the adoption of new approaches focusing on harm-reduction methods. The report states that harm-reduction approaches would “not only benefit those who are using drugs but reduce harm to and the costs for their wider communities.

The Committee’s investigation focuses on three harm-reduction interventions – drug-checking services, naloxone and drug-consumption rooms – to understand whether these could reduce drug-related deaths in London; the barriers that may be faced in rolling these out; and the solutions to address these barriers. These interventions were chosen because they have an existing evidence base, having been trialled or implemented in other parts of the world or the UK.

Recommendations also include practical advices to authorities:

  • The Government should introduce a national naloxone programme in England
  • Thee Mayor’s Drugs Commission should work with partners and service providers to assess the availability of naloxone in relevant settings in London, as well as the education and training levels of staff; and identify barriers and solutions to ensure adequate and consistent access across the capital.
  • The Mayor should lead a public awareness campaign on naloxone and how it is used to save lives in the event of an overdose.
  • The Mayor should run a campaign with partners to educate Londoners about how to reduce drug harm and deaths.


To read report, follow this link>>>.


FAQ on drug overdose deaths in Europe

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) created a specific webpage which answers to the questions most often asked about drug overdose deaths in Europe. Also known as drug-induced deaths, they are deaths directly attributable to the use of illicit drugs. The information presented here is based on the latest data from the Member States of the European Union and the EMCDDA affiliates Norway and Turkey. It draws on contributions from specialists from these countries, as well as on information provided by European countries in the annual reporting exercise to the agency.

This page aims to raise awareness on the nature and scale of the drug overdose deaths problem in Europe. This topic does not receive sufficient attention, despite the high number of lives lost, the dramatic consequences for families and communities and the fact that all of these deaths are, in principle, preventable and avoidable.

The latest European Drug Report (EMCDDA, 2021a) estimated that over 5 100 deaths involving one or more illicit drugs were reported in 2019 in the European Union. This estimate rises to more than 5 700 deaths when Norway and Turkey are included. Men accounted for three quarters of drug-induced deaths. All of these deaths were premature, predominantly affecting people in their thirties and forties.

The webpage is available following this link>>>.


735 drug induced deaths in Serbia since 2008

The Drug Policy Network South East Europe held the promotion of the Analysis of the data on drug-induced deaths in Serbia 2008 – 2019 on 10 March 2021 with the support of the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

The presentation with bilingual data (Serbian and English) is available following this link>>>.

More than 30 representatives of governmental organisations, civil society organisations, media and international organisation from Serbia and other countries participated.

The discussion emphasized the need to better report deaths and analyse the data so that we may better protect people who use drugs from overdose and loosing life.

The Analysis is available following this link>>>.


Drug-induced deaths in Serbia

The Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of Republic of Serbia and the Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE) invite you to the promotion of the analysis of the data on drug-induced deaths in Serbia 2008 – 2019.

DPNSEE has prepared the analysis using statistic about the drug-induced deaths managed by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. The data used are segmented using codes of the causes of death, agreed with the Ministry of Health and the Institute for Public Health “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”, in accordance with the standard protocol of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The statistics include annual tables presenting number of those passed away by different indicators: gender, age, location, substance that caused death, consequence of long term use or accidentally, etc.

The presentation will be held in Serbian with translation into English via Zoom at the following link on Wednesday 10 March 2021 starting at 11:00 CET. The presentation would last for approximately 60 minutes.

For all additional information, please contact us using followong email addresses or