Unvarying perception of the risk presented by different substances; perception of the risk presented by ecstasy and cannabis fluctuates widely from one Member State to another; more obvious link between consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs; increased effectiveness of information campaigns and of the use of the Internet as a source of information: these are some of the trends found by the European Commission in two surveys of more than 7600 young people in 2002 and 2004.
Drugs can easily be obtained at parties; the rate of exposure and personal consumption of cannabis is higher than that of other drugs; curiosity is the main reason given for dabbling in drugs; addiction is seen as the main result of drug- taking: these are the main findings of the Flash Eurobarometer opinion poll carried out at the Commission's request on 7659 young people between the ages of 15 to 24 in the fifteen countries of the European Union. The results of the opinion poll are published today.
Most young Europeans feel that all drugs are dangerous, but opinions are very mixed depending on the product. One young person in three sees a link between the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Half agree that drug takers should have access to cheap needles and syringes. 53% call for a more caring attitude and for easier integration into the community. Punitive measures against dealers and producers are deemed particularly important. The Internet is increasingly used as a source of information.
The report is available in French and English on the Europa site devoted to the area of freedom, security and justice.
- In 2004, 79% of young people mainly agree that it is easy to obtain drugs at parties.
- One out of two has been offered cannabis and one out of three had already tried it in 2004. This represents an increase over 2002.
- The rate of consumption of cannabis and other drugs is higher for boys than girls.
- In 2004 curiosity remains the most quoted reason for trying out drugs.
- 64% see addiction as the main result of drug-taking.
- One young person in three sees a link between the consumption of alcohol and drugs (an increase of 5 points since 2002) and between the consumption of, tobacco and drugs (an increase of 7 points).
- 49% agree that drug takers should have access to needles and syringes.
- 53% young people call for a more caring attitude and easier integration into the Community in order to manage drug-related problems.
- Preventive and punitive measures against dealers and drug traffickers (60% interviewees) and against producers (49%) were deemed particularly important.
- 42% feel that information campaigns are an effective way of managing drug-related problems.
- The Internet is an increasingly popular source of information; 34% of young people said they would use it in 2004 in order to gain information on drugs.