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Drug related deaths
Monitoring drug-related deaths is one of the EMCDDA five key indicators and reducing drug-related deaths is used as an indicator of the implementation of National Programme for Counteracting Drug Addiction 2011-2016.

Information on the number of deaths caused by using drugs is annually reported to the National Bureau by the Central Statistical Office (GUS). Cases are coded according to the ICD-10 classification. Fatal overdoses which comply with national definitions of ICD-10 codes (F11-12, F14-16, F19, X42, X62, Y12, X44, X64, Y14) are extracted from the database. The Polish definition of drug-related death was formulated on the basis of Selection B of the EMCDDA protocol (EMCDDA 2002) and the previously applied national methodology. The drug-related deaths trend is updated annually. Changes to the trend might e.g. point to the effectiveness of harm reduction activities. While outlining this indicator one must consider that the notion of drug-related deaths should be very precise in order to avoid under- or overestimations. In the Polish monitoring system, drug-related deaths refer only to those cases where using a psychoactive substance was the direct cause of death. The monitoring does not cover other situations where drug use played an intermediary or an accidental role e.g. violence, road accidents. According to the EMCDDA protocol, which is used by the Information Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, drug-related deaths refer to fatal poisonings caused by using one or several drugs followed by immediate death.

Data on the number of drug-related deaths are annually reported to the EMCDDA and the UN. However, they are also utilized to monitor and evaluate the National Programme for Counteracting Drug Addiction. The DRD key indicator also covers cohort studies on drug-related mortality. They aim at determining the impact of drugs on elevated mortality rates among drug users.

More data available in National Reports (chapter "Health correlates and consequences")


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