Very large numbers of people are admitted to treatment centres like the Anton Proksch Institute because of a drug addiction
or dependence on illegal substances
is still the most frequently used illegal substance among the general population. Despite their strong media presence, use of “new psychoactive substances” or “designer drugs” is of comparatively minor importance.
Drug Use in Austria
Opioid use (e.g. opium, morphine and heroin), typically in the context of poly drug use where multiple substances are used together, currently accounts for the largest share of problematic, high-risk drug use
in Austria. This means that in addition to opioids (like heroin) users also consume other substances such as benzodiazepines, cocaine, amphetamines but also alcohol – usually with the opioids as the “primary drug”.
Almost 30,000 people in Austria, almost half of whom live in Vienna, currently use illegal substances
. One quarter of these users are female. In recent years, there has been a decline in the prevalence of high-risk opioid use among under 25-year-olds with fewer people taking up risky patterns of use.
It is still difficult to ascertain whether this indicates a sustainable trend. It could be due to a decline in addiction to illegal substances
, or possibly a shift
towards other substances, such as cannabis
. There are indications of a growing local methamphetamine use in the regions, for example in Upper Austria.
Drug Treatment and Addiction Counselling
The Anton Proksch Institute Vienna helps people to overcome their drug addiction. The emphasis here is on substitution treatment
(drug replacement therapy) and psycho-social support
Further Information about Drug Addiction and the Treatment Programme