In 2021, 1,826 people will die from the use of illegal drugs, more than 15 percent more than in the previous year. There is now a renewed increase in deaths under the age of 22. Experts emphasize the need for a change of course in addiction policy.
The number of young drug-related deaths under the age of 22 has recently increased significantly. This was reported by the Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR), citing its own query in the federal states. According to this, the number in the period from 2016 to 2019 was between 44 and 59 deaths, although not all federal states had stored the corresponding data. In 2020 there were 78, and last year even 131 drug deaths aged up to and including 21.
According to the NDR, the query was related to research into illegal rave parties. Such events have also resulted in deaths after the consumption of drugs. The total number of drug deaths in Germany in 2021 had already been announced in May. It was 1,826, up more than 15 percent year-on-year and the fourth consecutive year-over-year increase.
The federal government's drug commissioner, Burkhard Blienert, described the increase in the number of drug-related deaths among young people as proof of the need for a change of course in addiction policy. More offers of help are needed. "Drug use must not remain a taboo in conversation, people with addictions must no longer be excluded," Blienert told NDR.