ESPAD average
Perceived availability of substances (%) a
  Average Min. Max.
Cigarettes 61 22 80
Alcohol 78 52 96
Cannabis 30 5 50
Ecstasy 12 2 24
Amphetamine 9 2 23
Methamphetamine 7 1 17
Cocaine 11 2 19
Crack 8 1 14
a Percentage of students rating a substance as either ‘fairly easy’ or ‘very easy’ to obtain.


Over 60 % of the students in the participating countries replied that they would find it fairly or very easy (hereafter referred to as easy) to get hold of cigarettes if they wanted to (Table 3a). Students in the Czech Republic were most likely to find it easy (80 %). In Austria, Liechtenstein and Denmark, the perceived availability was also comparatively high, with 79 %, 77 % and 76 % of the students, respectively, reporting access to be easy. Particularly low figures of perceived availability were found in Moldova (22 %) and figures of less than 40 % were observed in three other countries in the eastern part of Europe: the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (38 %), Romania (37 %) and Ukraine (39 %). Gender differences were negligible at the aggregate level (62 % for boys versus 60 % for girls). Where differences were observed, figures were generally higher for boys than girls. In Albania, Belgium (Flanders), Finland and Moldova, differences between the genders reached 10 percentage points or more. In 10 countries, figures of availability were higher for girls than boys, with rates for girls 6 percentage points higher in Bulgaria.


Alcoholic beverages were perceived to be easily available in most countries and gender differences were rather uncommon (Table 3a). More than three in four students (78 %) stated that they would find it easy to acquire alcoholic beverages if they wanted to. In the Czech Republic, Denmark and Greece, more than 90 % of the students reported easy access. The lowest proportions were found in Moldova (52 %), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (53 %) and Romania (60 %). In most countries, perceptions of availability among boys and girls were rather similar. Notable gender differences could be found in Liechtenstein, Moldova and Romania (9-10 percentage points), with rates among boys being higher than among girls, and in the Faroes and Sweden, with a higher rate among girls than boys (5 percentage points).

Illicit drugs

About three in ten students (30 %) rated cannabis to be easily obtainable (Table 3a). In the Czech Republic (50 %), more students than in any other ESPAD country perceived cannabis to be easily available. High proportions were also found in Slovenia (45 %) as well as in Liechtenstein and Bulgaria (44 % each). The countries with the lowest perceived availability of cannabis were Moldova (5 %) and Ukraine (11 %). Boys were more likely than girls to consider cannabis to be easily available (ESPAD average: 32 % versus 29 %). This was the case in most countries, with differences between the genders of up to 15 percentage points. Countries in which more girls than boys (5 percentage points or more) reported easy availability of cannabis were Bulgaria (47 % versus 40 %) and Slovakia (46 % versus 41 %).

Perceived availability of other illicit drugs was relatively low (Table 3a, 3b): ecstasy (12 %), cocaine (11 %), amphetamine (9 %), methamphetamine (7 %) and crack (8 %). In Bulgaria (e.g. amphetamine 23 %, methamphetamine 17 %), illicit drugs were overall perceived as more easily available than elsewhere in Europe. In addition, 10 % or more of the students in Croatia, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland thought that any of the listed illicit drugs were easily available. Perceived availability of ecstasy was highest in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Ireland (over 20 %), and perceived availability of cocaine was highest in Bulgaria, Ireland, Liechtenstein and Poland (17-19 %). The countries with the lowest perceptions of availability on nearly all illicit drugs were the Faroes, Finland, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Countries with noticeable gender differences for all illicit drugs were Liechtenstein and the Netherlands (higher rates for boys than girls), Bulgaria and Slovakia (higher rates for girls than boys).

Table 3a. Perceived availability of substances: prevalence of students responding substance ‘fairly easy’ or ‘very easy’ to obtain (percentage)

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a Official name former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Table 3b. Perceived availability of substances: prevalence of students responding substance ‘fairly easy’ or ‘very easy’ to obtain (percentage)

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a Official name former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.