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.
* Please refer to the full report below for ranges, where these are available. The maps and tables on this page display midpoint averages only.
|Country||People who inject drugs||Adult HIV prevalence amongst people who inject drugs||Operational needles-syringe exchanges programmes||Number of operational NSP sites (low)||Operational OST programmes||Number of operational OST programmes (low)|