Based on the 2015 ESPAD data, selected substance use indicators are presented comprising students’ perceptions of the availability of cigarettes, alcohol and illicit drugs, early onset of substance use and prevalence estimates of substance use. Whenever available, corresponding figures of the two non-ESPAD countries, Spain and the United States, are also presented in tables and maps. The Spanish data relate to 18 280 students, born in 1999 or 2000, who were 15 or 16 years old when the 2014 survey was performed. The mean age of the Spanish sample is 15.5 years. The US data relate to students in grade 10, of whom just over half were born in 1999. The two samples differ from the ESPAD sample also with respect to age. The mean ages of the ESPAD, the Spanish and the US samples are 15.8, 15.6 and 16.2 years, respectively. Due to differences in the sampling protocol and consequently in sample composition, comparisons should be made with caution.
In addition, patterns of current drug use among users of the specific substance are presented for cigarettes (prevalence for daily smoking), alcohol use (mean number of occasions in the last 30 days, beverage preference and volume on the last drinking occasion), heavy episodic drinking (consumption of five or more drinks on at least one occasion in the last 30 days), cannabis use (prevalence in the last 30 days and mean number of occasions of cannabis use in the last 12 months), inhalant use (prevalence in the last 30 days) and NPS use (prevalence in the last 12 months). The results are presented in maps and bar charts. Gender differences are also graphically shown by country, including tests for significance (Figures 1-9). In the maps, Belgium (Flanders), Cyprus and Moldova are presented with a lined pattern, as the Belgian data are representative only for Flanders, the Cypriot data are representative only for the government controlled part of Cyprus and in Moldova the Transnistria region was not included.
In the section on ‘Trends 1995-2015’, temporal trends between 1995 and 2015 are presented for the average across 25 country means and for all ESPAD countries separately.