Prevalence and patterns of drug use is one of the key indicators used by the EMCDDA to assess the drug situation in Europe. It helps with understanding patterns of use, risk perceptions, social and health correlates, as well as the consequences of the use of illicit drugs. This indicator makes use of a number of tools including data from general and school population drug surveys, as well as innovative new approaches such as wastewater-based drug epidemiology, and targeted surveys, including web surveys.
The 2022 annual expert meeting on the EMCDDA epidemiological indicator ‘Prevalence and patterns of drug use among the general population’ (often referred to as the 'General population surveys indicator') took place 4-5 May 2022. The meeting brought together experts from all EU Member States, Norway and Turkey, Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries, and Switzerland.
These regular meetings on the indicator change their focus from year to year. This year particular attention was given to methodological developments on the indicator, school surveys, the way surveys can be used to evaluate drug policies, and the role of gender in drug use.