Background still unclear: the number of young drug-related deaths has increased significantly


Status: 11/30/2022 11:14 am

After research by CTRL_F The annual number of drug-related deaths under 22 has more than doubled since 2016. The federal government’s drug commissioner, Blienert, calls for a new course in addiction and drug policy.

By Isabel Beer, Kim Eckert and Sarah Liebers, NDR

The number of young drug-related deaths under the age of 22 has recently increased significantly. According to a query by STRG_F (NDR/radio) A total of 131 people under the age of 22 died in all federal states in 2021. Among them were three children up to and including 13 years.

Between 2016 and 2019 there were still between 44 and 59 drug-related deaths up to and including 21 years of age, in 2020 it was 78. The number of drug-related deaths of all age groups also rose to a long-term high of 1826 in 2021.

Cause still unknown

The reason for the sharp increase in young drug deaths is apparently still unclear. The federal government’s drug commissioner, Burkhard Blienert, showed up opposite CTRL_F surprised: “I didn’t know this number before, but it clearly shows that we absolutely need the new course in local addiction and drug policy that I’ve called for several times.”

Image: picture alliance/dpa

Blienert calls for a paradigm shift. “Drug use must not remain a taboo in conversation, people with addictions must no longer be excluded, help must arrive faster and more directly.” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach responded CTRL_F-Request not.

Dead at illegal rave party

The reason for querying the numbers is research by CTRL_F to illegal rave parties. After such a rave in a bunker in Cologne, a 20-year-old died in August – apparently from an overdose. The cause of death has not yet been finally clarified. Shortly after the death, rumors surfaced that the young man was helped too late because other revelers were reluctant to call 911.

These statements were also confirmed by other visitors to the rave, with whom reporters from CTRL_F spoke, including the person who called 911. The journalists also spoke to a 15-year-old girl who had attended the rave, one of the organizers and other people from the rave scene.

Carelessness is apparently increasing

All the protagonists say that the scene has changed in many ways: not only are the revelers paying less attention to each other, but more and more drugs are being used openly. Many drug consuming ravers are also minors. This is also confirmed by research by CTRL_F. The reporters visited two illegal raves in the Cologne area, where they met, among other things, minors who were consuming drugs from their mobile phone displays.

Note on the figures: not all federal states still had data available. In 2016 (44 drug deaths up to 21 years) data from Bremen and Saarland are missing, in 2017 (55 drug deaths up to 21 years) there are no data from Thuringia and Saarland and in 2018 (53 drug deaths up to 21 years) there are no figures from Saarland. The figures from 2019 to 2021 are complete.

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