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Explanatory notes

To avoid misinterpretation of the data compiled in this report, it is of utmost importance to read first the following section which provides, when necessary, additional definition or specifications on the data-collection methods, the level of availability of the data and the potential bias or limits of the information made available through this snapshots exercise.

Target 1

Drug use in general population (EMCDDA key indicator)

Recent use cannabis, cocaine,  amphetamine and ecstasy (Last year)

 

  • ‘Last year’ (= Last 12 months) has been used as a more common indicator of recent use. ‘Last month’ gives very low figures, and is used as indicator of ‘current use’ or, with limits, some approximation to ‘regular drug use’.
  • ‘Young adults’ (15–34 years) has been used, which is the age group where drug use is concentrated, and changes (increase or decrease) will be detected better and are more relevant. Some small deviations: Denmark (16–34),  Germany (18–34), United Kingdom (16–34).
  • Some countries did not conduct surveys in 1999. The immediate previous survey was taken (Greece, 1998; Ireland, 1998; Netherlands, 1997/98; Finland, 1998; Sweden, 1998; United Kingdom, 1998). In Denmark, 2000 (previous survey in 1994). In Germany, 2000 (there was a survey in 1997, but East/West was reported independently). This data will be consolidated as data for the whole of Germany is now available.

The main source here are

  • EMCDDA annual report;
  • Re-analysis of Reitox Standard Tables (General Population and School surveys)
  • Analysis of available data for:
    • Detailed prevalence data;
    •  Incidence data.

 

Drug use in general population

Age first use of cannabis, cocaine,  amphetamine and ecstasy.

Information on ‘age first use’ is available in some countries (although not in all countries with surveys) but it is not collected by EMCDDA standard tables.

Same sources as previous parameter.

 

Drug use among 15 to 16-year-olds in school surveys

Lifetime prevalence (Cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, LSD or other hallucinogens, tranquilisers or sedatives without prescription, crack, inhalants).

Availability perceived as “very or fairly easy” of (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, crack, ecstasy).

% of people who were 13 years old or under when they first used (cannabis, ecstasy, tranquilisers or sedatives, inhalants).

  • All the data, except those relating to Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg, are based on ESPAD surveys.
  • In the 1999 ESPAD survey heroin refers to heroin by smoking
  • In Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg, cocaine includes crack cocaine.
  • In Belgium and Luxembourg LSD does not include other hallucinogens.
  • The earlier Spanish school data are based on 1998 survey data.
  • The proportion of children  who first used the drug when they were 13 years old or less is used as an indicator of higher than avarage risk of developing drug problems.
  • At 15 to 16 years old, lifetime prevalence of drug use is more likely to reflect recent experience than at older age groups.
  • Monitoring adolescent drug use is very sensitive to age – over a 12-month period up to around 10 % may use drugs –(primarily cannabis) for the first time.  Therefore ensuring comparable age groups is very important
  • After 15 or 16 years, a diminishing proportion of students are covered by school surveys. This limits the value of school surveys to measure what happens during the period of rapid change between 15 and 18, the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

   

Prevalence of problematic drug use (EMCDDA key indicator)

Problematic drug users’ per 1 000 population aged 15–64 -  estimates of problem drug use prevalence

Changes over time should only be followed per individual method and only if the method has not been changed. This can only be done at national level if a study that estimates data for 2003 includes a careful comparison with 1999, using exactly the same sources per method. Comparing national estimates in the format the EMCDDA receive them, between 1999 and 2003, is difficult at present and could easily give misleading results.. The current figures, however, give a reasonable picture of the national situation in 1999 ('snapshot') that allows a rough comparison between countries.

Source:

  • EMCDDA annual report;
  • Statistical modelling on routine data from different sources (treatment and other medical sources, arrest data, deaths, infections etc.);
  • re-analysis of information provided by National Focal Points in national reports and Standard Tables.

Changes over time in rates of new problematic drug users – estimates of problem – drug use incidence.

 

 

Incidence is the estimated number of new problem drug users in a given year (while prevalence is the estimated number of all problem drug user in a given year). Current methods are not able to estimate total incidence, only part of it (new drug userse who will eventually appear in drug treatment: ‘relative incidence’) Under the assumption that the direction of trends in relative incidence is equal to that of total incidence, relative incidence can be useful to follow changes over time in numbers of new problem users appearing.

Source:

  • EMCDDA annual report;
  • Statistical modelling on routine data from different sources (treatment and other medical sources, arrest data, deaths, infections etc.)
  • Re-analysis of information provided by National Focal Points in national reports and Standard Tables.

 

Primary prevention in schools

Number of schools covered by prevention programmes.

This is a raw indicator on the degree of implementation of concrete, coherent and systematic prevention measures. A confounding factor is the definition of ‘programme’, i.e. what level of structure and duration makes an intervention a ‘programme’.

(1999) Data source (if data were available) were references from member states’ national reports. Only Spain and Ireland had at that time really reliable data on school-based prevention programmes and a clear understanding of the concept of “programme”.

(2004) Data source in most EU-countries and Czech Republic/Hungary were the standard table 19. For this standard table, the definition of “programme” can be better controlled and is comparable. Austria, France and Denmark have no programme-based prevention policy.

 

Target 2

Drug-related infectious diseases  (EMCDDA key indicator)

Prevalence rates (% infected) of HIV among injecting drug users (IDUs)

Collected routine data from MS through standard tables (guidelines). Data from sources with national coverage. If only local data are available or from different years, this is indicated.

Prevalence rates (% infected) of hepatitis C among injecting drug users (IDUs)

Collected routine data from MS through standard tables (guidelines) Data from sources with national coverage. Iif only local data are available or from different years, this is indicated.

HIV incidence rates related to injecting drug use in the general population

Newly diagnosed cases of HIV in IDUs per million population. Collected centrally by EuroHIV (France)

 

Drug-related death and mortality (EMCDDA key indicator)

Acute drug-related deaths (numbers, rates, proportional change relative to index year)

National figures are based on national definitions and methods of data collection. Direct comparisons between countries should be avoided. The analysis can be done computing proportional changes (in percentages) between 1999 and 2003.

In general, mortality statistics are published with significant delays.

Sources:

  • General Mortality Registries.
  • Special Registries.
  • In some MS by substance and age.
  • In general with 1-3 years delay in reporting.

Mortality rate (all causes) among groups of problem  drug users

 

 

  • The year 1997 was selected as a reference year because it was the year with information for more countries
  • Overall (all causes) mortality rates among drug users recruited in treatment centres, for the most recent year available, have been used.
  • Data taken from the EMCDDA study on mortality among drug users, except the Luxembourg study (conducted in the context of key indicator ‘prevalence of problem drug use’). There may be other national studies not reported to the EMCDDA.
  • Cities or countries

 

Needle exchange

Estimations of syringes distributed

Not all member states report on this.

 

Geographical coverage / Mode of distribution

Not all member states report on this.

 

Target 3

Demand for treatment (EMCDDA indicator)

Annual number of admissions to drug treatment

The information on demand for treatment demand is based on a Standard Treatment Demand Indicator Protocol, which is a joint EMCDDA-Pompidou protocol and aims to provide information on the number and characteristics of people entering treatment in the European. The information concerns only the people starting a specific drug treatment (for the first time during their life –first- or during the year–all). Purpose of the indicator is to have information on the use of services by people using drug, to have indirect indication on problematic drug use. The process for harmonisation is still not finished.

Detailed description of definitions used can be found at the following web address:

(TDI protocol): http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/?nnodeid=1850

FT = First Treatments AT = All Treatments
H = Heroin (only heroin) (%)
Co = Cocaine (CIH+crack) (%)
Ca = Cannabis (%)
S = Stimulants (All stimulants) (%)
CI = Currently Injecting any drug (%)

Reporting year for 2004 is 2002.

 

Availability of treatment facilities

Services offered and their characteristics

 

 

 

SATU = Substance Addiction Treatment Units. (that is, units that deal with addiction in general)
DATU = Drug Addiction Treatment Units. (that is, units dealing with clients whose primay drug is illicit).
SATS = Substance Addiction Treatment Slots. (slots/treatment places in SATU).
DATS = Drug Addiction Treatment Slots (slots/treatment places in DATU).
OPT = Outpatient Treatment
IPT = Inpatient Treatment
DU = Detoxification Units
STS = Substitution Treatment Slots or clients

 

Target 4

Statistical information

Seized quantity

Provides statistical data on the amounts of the various types of illicit drugs seized. Seized quantities of cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine are provided in kilograms. Seized quantities of LSD are provided in doses. Seized quantities of ecstasy are provided in tablets. Data provided are rounded to avoid decimals. Therefore, seizures of 0 kg should be read as seizures weighting between 0 and 0.5 kg. This applies to all overviews on seized quantities in this document. (Source: EUROPOL, EMCDDA / REITOX Focal Points)

Number of seizures

Provides statistical data on the overall number of seizures of the various types of illicit drugs. (Source: EUROPOL, EMCDDA / REITOX Focal Points)

Wholesale prices

Reflects the (average) wholesale prices of the various types of illicit drugs. The accuracy of the data depends on the source of the information (e.g. informants, interviews, surveys, etc). Wholesale prices of cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine relate to Euros per kilograms. Wholesales prices of LSD relate to Euros per 1000 doses. Wholesale prices of ecstasy relate to Euros per 1000 tablets. This applies to all overviews on wholesale prices in this document. (Source: EUROPOL, EMCDDA)

 

 Strategic information

Level of international co-operation over the period

Reflects the adherence to and participation in global, regional and bi- and multilateral initiatives. In addition to the ratification of the relevant UN Conventions and the Europol Convention (referred to in the 1999 snapshot) other international cooperation instruments and initiatives should be considered (e.g. EU Convention on Mutual assistance in Criminal Matters, the implementation of the provisions on Joint Teams, participation in Europol projects, etc).

Number of OC groups involved in drugs in the EU

Reflects the number of organized crime groups which have been identified in relation to drug trafficking.

 

Market information

Street prices

Data refer to national average prices at retail level of various illicit drugs. Street prices of cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine relate to Euros per gram. Street prices of LSD relate to Euros per unit/dose. Street prices of ecstasy relate to Euros per tablet. This applies to all overviews on street prices in this document. (Source: EUROPOL, EMCDDA / REITOX Focal Points).

Street purity

Data refer to national average purity (or potency) at retail level of various illicit drugs. Purity of heroin, cocaine and amphetamine should be understood as the percentage (%) of pure substance. Cannabis potency – resin and herbal – should be understood as the percentage (%) of D9–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This applies to all overviews on street purity in this document. (Source: EUROPOL, EMCDDA / REITOX Focal Points)

 

Target 5

Statistical information

Number of drug law offences/offenders

According to the national reporting systems, data refer to a number of (suspected) drug law offences or to a number of (suspected) drug law offenders, i.e. (suspected) offences or offenders against drugs legislations and arrests. Data usually refer to the initial report by the police but in certain countries data may however refer to the prosecution stage. Only reports for criminal offences are reported here. In Belgium, Denmark, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom, data refer to a number of persons, whereas in Germany, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland, data refer to a number of offences and/or arrests. Due to these and other important methodological differences in the data reported, comparisons of levels between countries should not be made. (Source: EUROPOL, EMCDDA / REITOX Focal Points)

 

Target 6 (1)

Statistical information

Number of suspicious transactions

Provides statistical data on the overall number of suspicious financial transactions. National statistics and assessments (e.g. Annual situation reports; FIU data and suspicious transaction reports (STR)). Since Member States apply different methods to collect the data (some count each suspicious transaction, whilst others count the number of STR which may relate to several transactions, comparison between countries should be avoided.

 

Strategic information

The level of international co-operation

Reflects the adherence to and participation in global, regional and bi- and multilateral initiatives. In addition to the ratification of the relevant 1990 Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of Proceeds from Crime and the membership of the OECD FATF (referred to in the 1999 snapshot) other international cooperation instruments and initiatives relating to money laundering should be considered (e.g. EU Convention on Mutual assistance in Criminal Matters, the implementation of the provisions on Joint Teams, participation in Europol projects, etc). Considering constraints occurring in the international police and judicial cooperation in this field which could provide a more accurate picture of the factual level of the international cooperation.

 

Target 6 (2)

Statistical information

Number of seizures

Reflects the number of seizures of scheduled and, in some cases, non-scheduled precursor chemicals (Data available in 2004 are from 2002).

Number of stopped shipments

Reflects the number of shipments containing precursor chemicals stopped by the competent authorities (Data available in 2004 are from 2002).

Number and production volume of discovered illicit laboratories

Reflects the number and production volume of discovered illicit laboratories.

 

Strategic information

Level of international co-operation

Reflects the adherence to and participation in global, regional and multilateral initiatives e.g. the 1988 UN Convention, Operations Topaz, Purple and Project Prism, European Joint Unit on Precursors.

State of MoUs with the Industry

Reflects the number of Memoranda of Understanding concluded with industry (Data available in 2004 are from 2002).

Level of export and import in the EU

Reflects the level of export and import in the EU

 

Information of Regulatory Authorities

Number of licenses

Reflects the number of licences issued by the competent authorities to operators for Category 1 substances (Data available in 2004 are from 2002).

Number of Registrations

Reflects the number of registrations by the competent authorities of operators for Category 2 and Category 3 substances (Data available in 2004 are from 2002).

Number of suspicious or unusual transactions notified to the competent

Authorities by operators

Reflects the number of notifications by operators of suspicious transactions to the competent authorities.


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Page last updated: Thursday, 14 October 2004