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News article11 November 2020

European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs and the EU drugs Agency publish 2019 report

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The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has published today the ESPAD Report 2019, in collaboration with the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). The report is based on a survey conducted in 2019 of almost 100,000 15- to 16- year-old students from 25 Member States and 10 non-EU countries.

This year’s report provides information on the perceived availability of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, illicit drugs, inhalants, new psychoactive substances and pharmaceuticals. Additional descriptive information also includes indicators of intensive and high-risk substance use, and estimates of gambling for money among young people.

Main findings show that smoking and drinking among 15–16-year-old school students are declining, but there are concerns over increased use of electronic cigarettes, potentially risky cannabis use and the challenges posed by new addictive behaviours such as gambling.

Details on report are available on the EMCDDA website and on the ESPAD website. The ESPAD site also provides detailed data underpinning the analysis.


The main purpose of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) is to collect comparable data on substance use and other forms of risk behaviour among 15- to 16-year-old students in order to monitor trends within, as well as between, countries. Between 1995 and 2019, seven waves of data collection were conducted across 49 European countries.

The project was initiated and coordinated by the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN), following initial work carried out by the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe. The EMCDDA has progressively increased its support to the project, and since 2013 has been involved in the coordination of ESPAD, facilitating the transition and development of the project.

On 24 July 2020, the European Commission adopted a new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025 (PDF). Key strategic priorities of the new Agenda remain prevention and awareness raising on the effects of drugs on citizens and communities, with specific attention to schools and young people.

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Publication date
11 November 2020