This key indicator collects data on the prevalence and incidence of problem drug use (PDU) at national and local level. Problem drug use is defined as ‘injecting drug use or long-duration/regular use of opioids, cocaine and/or amphetamines’.
General population surveys are rarely useful in estimating the prevalence of problem drug use due to their methodological limitations; however, a range of indirect methods can be used and the most appropriate method or methods often depends on the nature and extent of problem drug use within the Member State.
Data on local prevalence and national prevalence is supplied to the EMCDDA via the Fonte reporting system. The EMCDDA also aims to collate information on the incidence of problem drug use, although such information does not have a standard reporting template. Guidance on how prevalence and incidence estimates can be obtained has been produced by EMCDDA.
Currently, EMCDDA is working on ways to adapt the indicator to new challenges in problem drug use monitoring: higher share of problem stimulant use, new, previously unseen groups of problem users and intensive, long-term and dependent use of other drugs, e.g. cannabis.
More information on the PDU key indicator can be found in the 'PDU toolbox' on this page.
The PDU toobox provides access to a range of PDU-related material developed by the EMCDDA over the years. This material has been classed into the following categories: prevalence guidelines; prevalence studies; incidence guidelines and reporting. New resources will be added as they arrive. It is intended mainly for researchers and experts in the field of epidemiology.