High-risk cannabis users: rising numbers entering treatment

Based on surveys of the general population, it is estimated that around 1 % of European adults are daily or almost daily cannabis users — that is, they have used the drug on 20 days or more in the last month. Around 30 % of these are older drug users, aged 35 to 64, and over three quarters are male.

When considered alongside other indicators, data on those entering treatment for cannabis problems can provide information on the nature and scale of high-risk cannabis use in Europe. Overall, the number of first-time treatment entrants for cannabis problems increased from 43 000 in 2006 to 76 000 in 2015. Multiple factors may lie behind this rise, including higher prevalence of cannabis use among the general population, increases in the number of intensive users, the availability of higher potency products, and increases in treatment referral and levels of provision.

Cannabis users entering treatment


17 %

83 %

Mean age at first...




Frequency of use in the last month


mean use 5.4 days per week

Trends in first-time entrants


Characteristics are for all treatment entrants with cannabis as primary drug. Trends in first-time entrants are based on 23 countries. Due to changes in the flow of data at national level, data since 2014 for Italy is not comparable with earlier years.