Estimated Prevalence of Amphetamine and Methamphetamine Use in the EU
"It is estimated that 12.3 million adults in the European Union (aged 15-64), or 3.7% of this age group, have used amphetamines at least once in their lifetime. Figures from the 26 countries that report a survey between 2014 and 2018 suggest that 1.4 million (1.2%) young adults (aged 15-34) used amphetamines during the last year, with national prevalence estimates ranging from zero in Portugal to 3% in Finland (Figure 13). The available data suggest that over the longer term, prevalence levels have been relatively stable in most countries. Of the countries that have provided new survey results since 2017 and reported confidence intervals, two reported higher estimates than in the previous comparable survey, seven reported a stable trend and one a lower estimate.
"A statistical analysis of trends in last year prevalence of use of amphetamines in young adults is only possible in a small number of countries and variations in patterns exist. Longterm downward trends are observable in Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom (Figure 13).
"Recent surveys in Czechia found prevalence levels of less than 1 %, trending downwards. In contrast, Norway has an upward trend since 2015, reporting 0.9% for 2018. At higher levels of prevalence, Finland has a long-term upward trend reaching 3% in 2018. In their 2018 survey, the Netherlands reported the prevalence of amphetamine use as 2.7%, a decrease from 3.9% in 2017. Both Germany and Poland report increases from previous surveys.
"Methamphetamine in Europe now appears in both powder and crystalline form and is consumed by injecting or smoking by various sub-groups of people who use drugs, including problem drug users and people in the ‘chemsex’ scene.
"Analysis of municipal wastewater carried out in 2019 found that mass loads of amphetamine varied considerably across Europe, with the highest levels reported in cities in the north and east of Europe (Figure 14). Amphetamine was found at much lower levels in most cities in the south of Europe.
"Of the 41 cities that have data for 2018 and 2019, 21 reported an increase, 9 a stable situation and 11 a decrease. Overall, the results from 11 cities with data from 2011 to 2019 showed a diverse picture, with increasing trends observed in most cities.
"Wastewater analysis suggests that use of methamphetamine, generally low and historically concentrated in Czechia and Slovakia, now appears to be also present in other European countries (Figure 15). In 2018 and 2019, of the 42 cities that have data on methamphetamine in wastewater, 17 reported an increase, 16 a stable situation and 9 a decrease."
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2020), European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.