In all EU countries, cannabis is the illegal substance most commonly used, although there is considerable variation between countries. The use of cannabis by young people first became prevalent in some European countries during the 1970s, and spread to other EU countries during the 1970s and 1980s (Figure 4 – an example from Spain). Widespread drug use is a more recent phenomenon in the countries new to the EU.
Data based on 1997 National Drug Survey (n = 12 515; 15- to 64-year-olds) and 1999 National Drug Survey (n = 12 488; 15–65 years olds).
Birth cohorts selected only if there are no significant differences between surveys and samples pooled for one-year birth cohort.
Source: Kraus, L. and Augustin, R. Analysis of age of first cannabis use in Germany, Greece and Spain. In EMCDDA report CT.00.EP.14: Technical implementation and update of the EU Databank on national population surveys on drug use and carrying out a joint analysis of data collected.