Even though Estonia’s economy is in a state of unprecedented health, the small Baltic nation has Europe’s worst drug-induced death rate. In fact, the mortality rate is twice that of second placed Norway – 190.8 deaths per million of the population.
Why has Estonia become Europe’s run-away leader in drug deaths? The answer is fentanyl, a synthetic form of heroin produced clandestinely in neighbouring Russia. It is hundreds of times more potent than morphine and has caused an overdose boom since it arrived in Estonia sometime around 2002. Elsewhere in Europe, Norway has 75.9 drug-induced deaths per million of the population while Ireland rounds of the top three with 70.5.