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Help and technical information

thumbnail of main category help screen

Finding your way around the data

There are over 400 tables and about 100 statistical graphs or charts in the EMCDDA's yearly Statistical bulletin. To make it easier to browse the data, statistics are organised by category. These categories are usually visible in the lefthand side bar as well as on the start page.

Selecting a category will show you a list of the main data tables for that category (click on the thumbnail above to see an example). There are four sections in each category: 'Tables', 'Charts', 'Methods' and 'Overview'. The 'Tables' and 'Charts' are described in more detail below. Selecting 'Tables' will show you the data tables for the category. 'Charts' presents a selection of the data in graphical format (bar charts, pie charts, line plots, etc.). The 'Methods' and 'Overview' options provide additional information on methods and definitions used and a summary of the data set, respectively.

Data tables

thumbnail of data table help screen

The available data tables for a category are shown by default when a category is selected or can be accessed at any point by selecting the 'Tables' option.To view a data table, simply select it from the list of tables. It will usually take a few moments to load. Click on the image on the left to see a detailled view of the available options. The 'Close' button will close the table and return you to the table listing view. The 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons will display the previous and next tables in the category (or be greyed out if no table is available). All tables also include an option to download a spreadsheet version (.xls which can be opened by most spreadsheet software, including Microsoft Excel). The download link is usually located at the top of the table — in some cases, it may not be visible, in which case, scroll to the bottom of the page. You can also (usually) interact with the table — the main options being sorting using the 'up' and 'down' triangular arrows at the top of each column and the 'Show / hide' option to remove columns from the view.

In some cases, some of the options listed above may not be available for a table. This is dependent on the table structure. Also, sometimes with wider tables, not all columns will be initially visible — in these cases use the horizontal scroll bar (usually located at the bottom of the data table) to view any columns further to the right.


thumbnail of chart help screen

Any available charts for a category are viewed by selecting 'Charts'. To view a chart, simply select it from the list of charts. It will usually take a few moments to load. Click on the image on the right to see a detailled view of the available options. The top elements ('Close', 'Previous', 'Next') are similar to the options in data table display. Charts provide a number of interactive features to help you explore the data behind the chart. Clicking and dragging with your mouse can be used to zoom into a specific area of the chart (use the 'Reset zoom' option to zoom back out). When available, additional information will be displayed when your cursor passes over interactive elements (e.g. data points) on the chart. You can also toggle the display of series on a chart by clicking on series names in the legend.

Note that the source data may be downloaded in spreadsheet (e.g. Excel) format. The link to this file is provided at the bottom of the chart page. Also note that, in some cases, an interactive version for the type of chart displayed may not be available

Supported browsers and technical requirements

Every effort has been made to ensure that the interactive version of the Statistical bulletin functions correctly with the main browsers in use today. Development is based on W3C standards-compliant technologies and no plugins are necessary. JavaScript needs to be enabled to use any of the interactive features (this is the default option for all major browsers). However, despite our best efforts, if you experience problems with accessing or using the bulletin, please contact us at online[a]emcdda.europa.eu (replace '[a]' with '@' in the email address given here before sending your message). Please include details of the problem encountered, the browser type and version and your operating system. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible. If you are in urgent need of the data, please considering upgrading to the latest version of your browser or if this is not possible, use the static of the statistical bulletin (see details on the right).

About the data

General notes for interpreting data

Methods and definitions

A brief summary of the methodological and definitional basis for each of the main areas is to be found within each category area. Links are provided to the detailed protocols and guidelines relating to each area that are held elsewhere on the EMCDDA website.

Unavailability of data

Where possible, unavailability of data is indicated explicitly with a colon in the corresponding cell ":". In cases where this is not done, a blank cell in a table indicates that no data is available for a country for a specific year or category. Only countries reporting relevant data are included in a graph, hence unavailability of data may be inferred from the absence of a country from the graphic or from the absence of plotted values for specific years or categories.


Almost all tables and graphs are accompanied with detailled notes which are important for the interpretation of the data. If the data is used elsewhere, it is important that any relevant notes be retained. 

Reusing the data

The information provided here may be freely reused, provided it is reproduced accurately, not presented in a misleading way and that all sources are acknowledged (please pay particular attention to the footnotes which accompany most of the statistics). The EMCDDA cannot be held responsible for any liability arising due to the reuse of this information and though every effort is made to ensure that the information is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is error free. We are happy to learn of any projects where the data have been used, along with any feedback you might have.

'Static' version for older browsers etc.

A 'static' version of the bulletin is also available should you be experiencing problems with the interactive version (e.g. older browsers, technical problems, accessibility issues). This version is located here: www.emcdda.europa.eu//stats12/list and simply consists of a page with a list of links to all tables and graphs. Because all pages also include a link to an Excel version of the data, you can at all times use this option to access our data.

Comments, questions or feedback

Any comments, questions or feedback may be addressed to online[a]emcdda.europa.eu (replace '[a]' with '@' in the email address given here before sending).


Unless otherwise stated, all data was provided to the EMCDDA by the Reitox national focal points. Static statistical graphics were designed by lomatolola. Icons used are courtesy of famfamfam. The charting functionality is based on the Highcharts charting library. The DataTables plugin for jQuery provides sorting and some of the other interactive functions for data table display.

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: Friday, 26 April 2013