From the 1990s until 2012, the number of directly drug-related deaths in Switzerland fell from over 350 drug-related deaths per year to 121 deaths per year. Since 2012, a slightly rising trend has been observed. In 2020, 142 people (94 men and 48 women) died from drugs.

The vast majority of drug-related deaths are due to the consumption of heroin.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

This indicator shows directly drug-related deaths due to intoxication or overdose. The trend over time indicates the frequency of consumption and the conditions under which it takes place. With an appropriate framework in place, early deaths could be prevented.

The indicator shows the extent of drug-related causes of death and helps assess and steer drug policy.

Definition

This indicator is based on data from the Federal Statistical Office’s Cause of Death Statistics. The indicator shows the number of deaths due to intoxication and/or overdose per year.

Drug-related deaths are defined according to the following ICD-10 codes (ICD-10, WHO version): 

  • F11/F12/F14/F15/F16/F19 (mental and behavioural disorders resulting from opioid/cannabis/cocaine/other stimulant/hallucinogen/polysubstance and other psychoactive substance abuse or mis-use).
  • X42 (accidental poisoning resulting from exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens])
  • X62 (intentional self-harm resulting from exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens])
  • Y12 (accidental poisoning resulting from exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens])

It should be noted that the figures presented cover direct causes of death. Deaths due to a gradual decline in health associated with long-term drug use are not, or scarcely, included.

Source

Further information

  • Drug-related deaths in Switzerland (2020). Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Bern: Fact sheet (in French or German). 

Media enquiries

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Tel. +41 58 462 95 05
media@bag.admin.ch

Last updated

29.08.2022