Prevalence of Last-Year Use in Austria 2008

"The prevalence rates covering the past year (12-month prevalence) have gone down considerably. They are above one percent only in the case of cannabis (2.8 %; 2004: 7.5 %) and under one percent regarding all other substances (see Figure 2.1). This confirms the assumption that use of illicit drugs tends to be limited to a certain period in life or to experimental use. However, the strong decrease in 12-month prevalence rates for illicit substances compared to 2004 should be assessed critically.
"Recent data are again available from the Vienna drug survey4, which permits an analysis of long-term trends since 1993 (IFES 2009; see also Table A1 in Annex A and ST1).
"Compared to previous surveys, indications of drug use went down or remained at levels similar to the past, with the exception of opioids (see Figure 2.2). Regarding cannabis, after a continuous rise, rates of use went down again. Although the decline is considerably smaller here, this result shows an interesting parallel to the development of prevalence rates in the aforementioned nationwide population surveys, and should be discussed.
"In the age groups under 30 and between 30 and 40, a share of 20% reported experience of cannabis, compared to 22% in the group aged 40 to 50 and 25% in the group between 50 and 60. In the group older than 60, only 3% indicated experience of cannabis. As a rule, life-time prevalence rates are higher among men than among women (e.g., cannabis: 22% v. 11%). To obtain a more comprehensive picture, also use in the past three years and in the past 30 days was studied: here the resulting prevalence rates are considerably lower compared to lifetime use (e.g., cannabis: 5% v. 3%)."


Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, "2009 National report (2008 Data) to the EMCDDA by the National Reitox Focal Point: Austria: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues" (Vienna, Austria: GOG/OBIG, October 2009), pp. 12-13.