Prevalence of drug use in Sweden

"Cannabis remains the illicit substance most commonly used in Sweden. However, lifetime prevalence of cannabis use among the general population remains low in comparison with other European countries. The data indicate that cannabis use is concentrated among young adults, in particular those aged 15-24 years. The long-term trend analysis shows a slight increase in last year cannabis use over the past decade among 16- to 34-years-olds. In general, cannabis use is more common among males than females.

"The prevalence of use of cannabis and other illicit drugs was measured in the survey ‘Vanor och Konsekvenser’, conducted in 2017 following the previous data collection in 2013. The survey was conducted by the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN). The results show that, in 2017, around 4 % of people aged 17-84 years reported using at least one substance classified as narcotics in the previous 12 months.

"Several Swedish cities have participated in the Europe-wide annual wastewater campaigns undertaken by the Sewage Analysis Core Group Europe (SCORE). This study provides data on drug use at a municipal level, based on the levels of illicit drugs and their metabolites found in wastewater. These data complement the results from population surveys; however, wastewater analysis reports on collective consumption of pure substances within a community, and the results are not directly comparable with prevalence estimates from population surveys. The most recent available data on stimulant drugs was collected in Stockholm in 2016 and indicate weekly consumption patterns. The loads of the main cocaine metabolite (benzoylecgonine) and MDMA/ecstasy found in wastewater in 2016 were higher at the weekends than on weekdays, whereas methamphetamine traces were found to be distributed more evenly throughout the week."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2019), Sweden, Country Drug Report 2019, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.