Western Europe - Regional Overview

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Harm reduction forms an integral component of HIV and drug policy and programmes within most Western European countries. Almost every country with reported injecting drug use has key harm reduction interventions in place. Several countries also include drug consumption rooms, syringe vending machines and the prescription of injectable OST and pharmaceutical heroin among their harm reduction interventions. However, there remains much variation in harm reduction coverage. Some countries, such as Cyprus and Greece, currently reach low proportions of injecting populations with sterile injecting equipment and opioid substitution therapy. Even within countries with long established services, large areas are not covered and constraints on funding pose barriers to increasing access to these services. Furthermore, other drug-related health harms, such as viral hepatitis and overdose, remain leading causes of death among people who inject drugs.

Harm reduction programmes in prisons are less widely available. Whereas many countries prescribe OST to prisoners in some institutions, the availability of sterile injecting equipment is more limited. The current European Union drug strategy and action plan are explicitly supportive of harm reduction and many Western European countries are amongst the most vocal in support for harm reduction in international fora.

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* Please refer to the full report below for ranges, where these are available. The maps and tables on this page display midpoint averages only.

Download full Global State of Harm Reduction Report (PDF 8.5 MB).

CountryPeople who inject drugsAdult HIV prevalence amongst people who inject drugsOperational needles-syringe exchanges programmesNumber of operational NSP sites (low)Operational OST programmesNumber of operational OST programmes (low)
ANDnknkNoNo
AUT175003Yes40Yesnk
BEL248104.15Yes102Yesnk
CYP2310.65Yes1Yes1
DNK127545YesnkYesnk
FIN156500.9Yes42Yesnk
FRA1220007.2Yes583Yes19484
DEU942504.75Yes391Yes4706
GRC76516.5Yes14Yes17
ISLnknkNoYesnk
IRL6289nkYes91Yes332
ITA32600011.5YesnkYesnk
LUX19072.4Yes10Yesnk
MLT19130Yes7Yes2
MCOnknkNoNo
NLD23901.85Yes175Yesnk
NOR97302.32Yes44Yesnk
PRTnk5.7Yes1270Yesnk
ESP739333.6Yes2386Yes1363
SWEnk4.4Yes4Yesnk
CHE316537.3YesnkYesnk
TURnk0.3NoYesnk
GBR1331121.2Yes1523Yesnk

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