Today, the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) is launching a new data explorer tool, allowing access to over 20 years of ESPAD data on substance use among 15-16-year-old students. ESPAD is the largest cross-national research project on adolescent substance use in the world, bringing together independent research teams in over 40 European countries. Developed by the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), the new tool holds data collected between 1995 and 2019.
The purpose of the tool is to make ESPAD data available to a wide range of interested stakeholders, from the general population, journalists and teachers to prevention experts and scientists.
The new platform offers users access to information on three levels:
- Homepage — featuring interactive maps and graphs, a ‘Topics’ section, latest results and new trends in specific substances and behaviours;
- Search toolbar — allowing keyword searches to explore questions in the ESPAD questionnaires, the number of respondents and the frequency of answers by year, by country and by gender;
- Expert area — offering data exploration for expert users. A registration phase is required to gain access to this restricted area. Here users can analyse and visualise data using a wide range of parameters and can save their searches and download results (e.g. in graphical format).
Data are exclusively displayed in aggregated form by countries participating in the study and by year of the study. Specific statistical measures (e.g. frequency distribution and prevalence rates) are calculated before visualisation, by means of charts.
The new tool, which will be showcased at an EMCDDA webinar today, offers a unique overview of data on young people, substance use and risk behaviours in Europe. It is designed to bring the ESPAD study closer to those wishing to know more about the project, thereby bridging the gap between research and practice.
New ESPAD-MedSPAD online survey
The latest ESPAD-MedSPAD online survey has recently been launched involving stakeholders in over 40 countries in the European and Mediterranean regions. This survey aims to assess the use of school surveys in policy and prevention, including their strengths and challenges. The survey is mainly directed at policymakers, prevention and harm reduction experts, operators and researchers. It is supported by the Council of Europe Pompidou Group and the EMCDDA and is carried out by the National Research Council of Italy.