Prevalence of Substance Use in the European Union

"More than 92 million or just over a quarter of 15- to 64-year-olds in the European Union are estimated to have tried illicit drugs during their lives. Experience of drug use is more frequently reported by males (56.0 million) than females (36.3 million). The most commonly tried drug is cannabis (53.5 million males and 34.3 million females), with much lower estimates reported for the lifetime use of cocaine (11.8 million males and 5.2 million females), MDMA (9.0 million males and 4.5 million females) and amphetamines (8.0 million males and 4.0 million females). Levels of lifetime use of cannabis differ considerably between countries, ranging from around 41 % of adults in France to less than 5 % in Malta.

"Last year drug use provides a measure of recent drug use and is largely concentrated among young adults. An estimated 18.9 million young adults (aged 15–34) used drugs in the last year, with twice as many males as females reporting doing so."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2018), European Drug Report 2018: Trends and Developments, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.