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Drug Abuse Treatment

The purpose of the statistics is to shed light on drug abuse treatment in Denmark provided by municipalities to citizens under Section 101 of the Social Services Act, Section 142 of the Health Act, and Section 33 of the Child Act. The statistics are used, among other things, to account for the number of citizens in drug abuse treatment, the number and types of drug abuse treatments, and to monitor adherence to the 14-day treatment guarantee from request to initiation of treatment. The statistics have been published since 2015 and are comparable throughout the period, but significant improvements in data quality have been made continuously. In this release, all municipalities have approved their reports for 2021-2023.

Statistical presentation

These statistics are a annual measurement of the municipalities' drug abuse treatments activities initiated by the municipalities calculated in terms of number of activities (request, initiation, ended treatment courses), courses and persons. These statistics are grouped by municipalities, sex and age groups.

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Statistical processing

Data for these statistics are continuously collected municipalities and drug treatment centers directly to SMDB or automatically through system-to-system solutions via the municipality's administrative IT-system. Data are validated extensively by presenting the collected data to the responsible municipality for validation and approval. Hereafter, we initiate validation processes that e.g. remove persons with invalid social security numbers or who have finished their treatment because they died.

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The statistics are relevant to anyone with an interest in the field of drug abuse, including researchers, municipalities, drug abuse treatment providers, regions, ministries, as well as interest organizations. The statistics provide concrete knowledge about publicly referred and paid drug abuse treatment in Denmark and contribute more generally to an understanding of the drug abuse field. The data foundation is used for research purposes and internationally within the EU framework, but also in policy contexts by, for example, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Interior to formulate new policies in the field of drug abuse.

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Accuracy and reliability

The overall precision of the statistics is under continuous improvement. In 2021, 2022 and 2023 full coverage has been achieved for all municipalities (i.e. all 98 municipalities have approved their data).

There may generally be some uncertainty due to varying registration practices in municipalities and in drug abuse treatment centers. Audits are expected in connection with quality work. Furthermore, a higher coverage will also bring audits back in time.

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Timeliness and punctuality

These statistics are normally published six moths after the end of the reference period.

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The statistics are compiled in the current, comparable form for 2015-2022. There are no European guidelines for statistics on social drug abuse treatment. There are European comparable statistics where data for Denmark are provided by the Danish Health and Medicines Authority.

When comparing these statistiscs across boaders, it should be taken into account that differences in registration practices and structural differences between countries may affect comparability. In the international context, the Health Data Agency and the Health Authority are responsible for reporting to EMCDDA, so inquiries about international comparability can advantageously be directed to them.

When comparing over time, it should be noted that there are differences in registration practices among municipalities, and certain questions may be interpreted differently depending on the case worker completing the forms. Furthermore, changes in reporting requirements over time and the transfer of substance abuse treatment to different authorities may affect comparability. As of January 1, 2024, the Enrollment, Services, and Discharge forms became voluntary to report, and as of January 1, 2025, they will no longer be possible to report. Therefore, reports of these forms after January 1, 2024, will be incomplete and underestimated.

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Accessibility and clarity

These statistics are published yearly in a Danish press release, at the same time as the tables are updated in the StatBank. In the StatBank, these statistics can be found under the subject Drug abuse treatment. For further information, go to the subject page.

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