Trends in cocaine use

Figure 11 Trends in recent use (last year) of cocaine among young adults (aged 15–34), measured by population surveys (1)

Figure 11


Data taken from national surveys available in each country. Figures and methodology for each survey can be consulted in Table GPS-4 in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

For young adults, the EMCDDA uses the range 15–34 years (Denmark and UK from 16, Germany, Estonia (1998) and Hungary from 18). In France the age range was 25–34 in 1992 and 18–39 in 1995.

(1) Sample sizes (respondents) for the 15–34 age group for each country and year are presented in Table GPS-4 in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(2) In Denmark, the value for 1994 corresponds to ‘hard drugs’.

Sources: Reitox national reports (2004), taken from population surveys, reports or scientific articles. See also Table GPS-0 in the 2005 statistical bulletin.


Clear-cut European trends in cocaine use, based on population studies, are still difficult to identify (see section on cannabis trends). However, warnings about increases in cocaine use in Europe have come from several sources, including local reports, focused studies conducted in dance settings, reports of increases in seizures indicators and some increases in indicators related to problems (deaths, emergencies).

Recent cocaine use among young people increased substantially in the United Kingdom from 1996 until 2000, but has remained relatively stable since then, although moderate increases have been observed in recent years, and in Spain (91) from 1999 to 2001. Less marked increases were observed in Denmark, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Austria (in local surveys) and, with oscillations over the 1990s, in Germany (Figure 11).

(91) Information that arrived too late to be included in the report suggest a stabilisation in 2003 surveys (last year prevalence among young adults 4.8 % compared with 4.6 % in 2001).