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Key Findings of EU Web Survey on Drugs

What's the drug use situation in the EU? Which ones are the most common intake drugs? Why and where do people use drugs? What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on drug use?  A 2021 online drug survey reveals the facts.

The European Web Survey on drugs was conducted in March and April 2021, it was organized by The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and collaborated by over 100 organizations.

The anonymous survey ran in 21 EU countries and 9 non-EU countries, it targeted people who use at least one illicit drug in the past 12 months, aged 18 or older. More than 48,000 respondents participated in this web-based survey, 70% were male and 30% were females, and 80.7% respondents were under the age of 35.


Key findings:

1. Drug use patterns

Cannabis was the most intake drug. 93% of respondents reported using cannabis during the previous 12 months, followed by MDMA/ecstasy (35%), cocaine(34%), and amphetamine(28 %). The drug use patterns have little variation between countries. Besides, 20% of the sample reported using LSD, while 16% reported use of NPS, and 13% use of ketamine during the period.

2. Motivation for drug use

The motivation of particular drug use is related to the effect the user expects.

Respondents used herbal cannabis to reduce stress/relax, to get high/for fun and to improve sleep. While MDMA has more entertainment and social attributes, the survey responses people take MDMA to get high and to socialize.

3. Settings for drug use

According to the survey, home was the most common setting for drug use during the period reported by 85% of the respondents. Besides, public space (street, park, etc), music festival, or party were also popular places for drug use.

4. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on drug use

During the period, many European people were experiencing lockdown or restriction because of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the survey, MDMA, Cocaine, and Amphetamine had witnessed a decrease in use. While the intake of heroin, cannabis were increased.

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