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Drug use: an overview of general population surveys in Europe

EMCDDA, Lisbon, April 2009

Publication type:

Thematic papers


In many European countries, one or more general population surveys have been carried out to get an impression of the characteristics of illicit drug use at national level. Despite valuable efforts to standardise national drug surveys among the general populations in European Member States and to enhance cross-national comparability, national drug surveys still use different instruments, reporting formats and methodologies. To facilitate the comparison of survey practices in EU countries and to provide a tool for everyone planning, organising or executing a survey about drug use among the general population, a meta-analysis of 25 population surveys on drug use in Europe was carried out, including intrinsic and methodological discussions and a description of financial sources, timetables and accessibility of the fieldwork and data documentation. The analysis presented here is part of a larger feasibility study of a repetitive drug survey among the general population in Belgium.

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English (en)

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Expert survey
  • Intrinsic focus
  • Methodological focus
  • Financial focus and timetable
  • Utilitarian and valorisation focus
  • Conclusion







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About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Thursday, 30 April 2009