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New indicators to compare and evaluate harmful drug use among adolescents in 38 European countries
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2014 (English)In: Nordisk Alkohol- og narkotikatidsskrift (NAT), ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, Vol. 31, no 4, 343-358 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS - New trends in drug consumption reveal increasing polydrug use. Epidemiological indicators in the current use are based on the prevalence and the associated potential harm of a single main substance. We propose new indicators to evaluate frequency and potential harm of polydrug use. The indicators are used to compare drug use among countries based on survey data on adolescents' substance use in 38 European countries. METHODS - The approach is based on analysis of the frequency of use in the various population samples: lifetime use, twelve months use or last thirty days, depending on available data, and on the risk of harm for the substances used. Two indicators are provided: the frequency of use score (FUS) by summing the frequency of use of each substance, and the polydrug use score (PDS) that weight all the substances used by their risk. RESULTS - The indicators FUS and PDS were calculated and the distribution functions were used to characterise substance use across ESPAD countries. The analysis shows important differences in poly-substance use severity among countries presenting similar prevention policies. CONCLUSIONS - Systematic analysis of substance use and the related risk are of paramount interest. The proposed indicators are designed to better monitor and understand consequences of polydrug use and to measure the resulting risk at country or population level. The indicators may also be used to assess the effects of policy interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 31, no 4, 343-358 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescent drug users, frequency of use, polydrug use, incidence indicators, ESPAD
National Category
Sociology Substance Abuse
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109288DOI: 10.2478/nsad-2014-0027ISI: 000343301800003OAI: diva2:764465


Available from: 2014-11-19 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2014-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Kraus, Ludwig
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Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD)
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Nordisk Alkohol- og narkotikatidsskrift (NAT)
SociologySubstance Abuse

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