A new report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) showed that Sweden has the second highest number of drugs-related deaths after Estonia, in relation to its population of any European Union country.
The report, which looked at EU countries as well as Norway and Turkey, revealed that a total of 626 deaths in Sweden in 2017 are related to drug abuse.
Political parties on the Committee on Health and Welfare said it was time to review Sweden’s zero-tolerance drug policy earlier this year.
Eight northern European countries had rates of over 40 drugs-related deaths per one million inhabitants, with 92 such deaths per one million inhabitants in Sweden and 130 in Estonia.
Information provided by the Sweden’s Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) suggested the situation was even more serious.
More than 959 drugs-related deaths were recorded in 2017 according to the agency that also said drugs-related deaths have doubled in Sweden over the last decade.
An official said they are watching this development with concern and the figures are too high.
78 percent of those who died of overdoses were men, the mean age of the victims was 39, and opiods were present in the majority of cases.