Other drugs

Prevalence of ecstasy use was higher than that of amphetamine use in 14 of the EU and candidate countries reported in the 2003 ESPAD survey (29). The lowest levels of lifetime use of ecstasy (2 % and under) were found in Denmark, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Romania and Turkey. Higher prevalence rates, ranging from 3 % to 4 %, were reported in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Latvia, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bulgaria. The countries with highest lifetime prevalence rates for ecstasy use were the Czech Republic (8 %), and Estonia, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (all 5 %).

Regarding prevalence rates over different periods, the highest rate of lifetime prevalence of ecstasy use in 2003 was 8 %, compared with 5 % for use during the last 12 months (recent use) and 2 % for use during the last month (current use).

Consecutive surveys show that, generally, lifetime prevalence of ecstasy use among 15- and 16-year-old school students increased over the period 1995 to 2003, with the greatest increases occurring in the Czech Republic and most of the new Member States (30). However, lifetime prevalence figures from the 1999 ESPAD surveys reveal fluctuations in some countries. The decreases in ecstasy use that occurred in the United Kingdom took place before 1999, and may be partly attributable to extensive media coverage of ecstasy-related deaths during the late 1990s.

(29) See Figure EYE-2 (part iv) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(30) See Figure EYE-2 (part i) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.