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Since the 1990s, the number of directly drug-related deaths in Switzerland had fallen continuously from over 350 drug-related deaths a year to around 130 deaths in recent years. This number has been stable for several years and has increased again slightly since last year (to 165). 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.


This indicator is based on the Swiss Cause of Death statistics. The indicator shows the number of deaths due to intoxication and/or overdose per year.

The indicator shows deaths recorded by the Federal Statistical Office under the following ICD-10 codes:

  • 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.

Sources, references and further information

Sources: Federal Statistical Office (Cause of Death Statistics)
Further information: Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) (2020). Fact sheet. Drug-related deaths in Switzerland (Fact sheet, in french or in german).  

Media enquiries

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Tel. +41 58 462 95 05

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