Alternate Definition and Estimate of Prevalence of Problem Cocaine Use in Spain 2011

"In addition to the length of continuous use, from the Public Health standpoint, it also seems important to take into consideration the cases of use at very young ages. Thus, a parallel estimate was made, considering problem users as being all those 20 years of age or younger (approximate age by which the CNS has fully matured) who had used cocaine on 10 days or more within the last 12 months and at least on 1-3 days within the last 30 days, having totalled 12,181 in number on the Household Survey of Alcohol and Drugs (EDADES), representing 16.7% of the cocaine users (12 months) in this age range.
"To these numbers, it would be necessary to add those users over 20 years of age who used cocaine on 30 days or more within the last 12 months and/or on 10 days or more within the last 30 days (118,356 individuals), theoretically assuming that those who, as a result of being chronologically old enough, had reached psychophysical maturity, would be less susceptible than the youngest individuals to be harmed as a result of using cocaine, for equal amounts used. According to this hypothesis, in 2011, 130,537 (12,181 + 118,356) would be recorded.
"Hence, according to the method employed for these estimates, the number of problem cocaine users could be said to fall within the range of 124,083 – 130,537 individuals. This means an approximate 6% decline in comparison to 2009, which might be explained by the downward trend in the prevalence of cocaine use within the last 12 months and within the last 30 days found in the Household Survey on Alcohol and Drugs (EDADES) for the 2009-2011 period. Nevertheless, despite this fact, an estimated number is found for users on 10 days or more within the last 30 days which is higher than the number found in 2009, which would mean that, despite the fact that the trend in the prevalences of overall use may indicated an improvement in the situation generally speaking, it must not be inferred from this that problem use is behaving in the same way."


Government Delegation of National Plan on Drugs (Reitox National Focal Point for Spain), "2012 National Report (2011 Data) to the EMCDDA: Spain: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues" (Madrid, Spain: DGPNSD, Dec. 2012), pp. 119-120.