Treatment demand data

Use of ATS is rarely the primary reason for attending drug treatment. However, there are some exceptions: in the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden, ATS, specifically amphetamines rather than ecstasy, account for anything between 18 % and more than 50 % of all primary treatment demands. In the Czech Republic, more than 50 % of reported treatment demands relate to a primary methamphetamine problem. This is reflected too in new treatment demands, with the addition of Slovakia (60). Moreover, 11 % of new European clients demanding treatment and reporting data cite ATS as a secondary drug (61).

Comparison of data from 2002 and 2003 reveals that the upward trend in the number of ATS users continued (+3.5 %); between 1996 and 2003, the number of clients seeking treatment for ATS increased from 2 204 to 5 070 in 12 EU countries.

Among new clients seeking treatment at outpatient centres for ATS use, 78.5 % are using amphetamines and 21.4 % MDMA (ecstasy) (62). The highest proportion of ecstasy clients are found in Hungary, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Almost one-third of ATS users seeking treatment are aged 15–19 years and another third are between 20 and 24 years (63). The large majority of ATS clients first use the drug between 15 and 19 years of age (64).

Among ATS clients in treatment, there are equal numbers of occasional and daily users. In the countries where the proportion of amphetamine clients is higher, most clients use the drug 2–6 times a week (65).

The main route of administration of amphetamines and ecstasy is oral (58.2 %); however, around 15 % of clients inject the drug; in some countries, more than 60 % of ATS clients are current injectors of amphetamines (Czech Republic and Finland) (66).

(60) See Tables TDI-4 (part ii) and TDI-5 (part ii) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(61) See Table TDI-24 in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(62) See Table TDI-23 in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(63) See Tables TDI-11 (part i) and TDI-11 (part v) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(64) See Tables TDI-10 (part i) and TDI-10 (part v) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(65) See Table TDI-18 (part iii) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(66) See Table TDI-17 (part iii) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.