Lifetime Prevalence of Drug Use Among Youth in Sweden

"The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN) conducts annual national studies of the alcohol and drug use of school-age children. Since 1971, they have conducted school-based teacher-monitored surveys among a nationally representative sample of 9th grade elementary school students 15-16 years old. Since 2004, studies have also been carried out in the second year of upper-secondary school (11th grade) among students aged 17-18. In these annual surveys of adolescents, questions are asked about their use of a wide range of different substances and illicit drugs.
"In the latest published measurement from the surveys conducted in 2013, the lifetime prevalence of use of any type of illicit drug among 15- and 16-year-old boys and girls was 7.3% and 5.7% respectively (Centralförbundet för alkohol och narkotikaupplysning, 2014c). Cannabis was by far the most common drug, and the change over time in the proportion of boys and girls reporting use of drugs is presented in Figure 2.7. The prevalence reached a low level in the mid- to late 1980s and early 1990ts, and have had a somewhat higher and varying level during the past 20 years.
"In the older age group i.e. 17- and 18-year-old students, the lifetime prevalence of ever having used an illicit drug was 19.4% for boys and 13.8% for girls (Centralförbundet för alkohol och narkotikaupplysning, 2014c) . Among those who had used an illicit drug, the most common drug was cannabis, although some level of use of benzodiazepines, cocaine and amphetamines was also reported. Very few students reported use of drugs before the age of 14, 2% of the boys and 1% of the girls, and these results have remained the same over the past 20 years."


Swedish National Institute of Public Health. "2014 National Report (2013 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: Sweden: New Development and Trends." Östersund: Swedish National Institute of Public Health, 2014, pp. 33-34.