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Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The Journal of Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues


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Cannabis Use and Drug Related Problems Among Adolescents in 27 European Countries: The Utility of the Prevention Paradox

1Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Science, Stockholm, Sweden

2Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Science, Stockholm, Sweden and Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden

3Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Science, Stockholm, Sweden and Stockholm University, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, Stockholm, Sweden

4The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Stockholm, Sweden, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Lisbon, Portugal

Support was provided by a research grant from Forskningsrådet för arbetsliv och socialvet-enskap (Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (2008-0098 and 2009-1644), currently Forskningsrådet för hälsa, arbetsliv och välfärd (Forte), (Swedish Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare). Support was also provided by Systembolagets råd för alkoholfor-skning (The Council for Research on alcohol of the Swedish Alcohol Retail Monopoly) (SRA) (2010:36:1). This article includes data from a database produced within the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), a collaborative European project owned by the ESPAD researchers, and is written in line with the rules for using ESPAD databases.

© 2014 Anders Romelsjö et. al.. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Volume 31, Issue 4, Pages 359–370, ISSN (Online) 1458-6126, DOI: 10.2478/nsad-2014-0028, October 2014

Publication History

Received:
2014-04-04
Received:
2014-08-30
Published Online:
2014-10-02

Abstract

AIMS – To study the prevalence of cannabis use and drug-related problems among European adolescents and the utility of the prevention paradox. METHODS – Survey data from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) in 2007 in the 27 countries with information about drug use and drug-related problems was used. We analysed the proportion of all drug-related problems that occurred in a high risk group and among others who had used cannabis in the previous 12 months. The cut-off for the high risk group was chosen to include 10-15 % of the most frequent cannabis users. RESULTS – The high risk groups accounted for a substantial, but a minority, of drug-related problems among boys as well as girls. A minority of those who had used cannabis reported any drug-related problem. The proportion of adolescents with drug-related problems and the average number of problems increased with frequency of cannabis use. CONCLUSIONS – We find support for policy measures of more general character, supported by the prevention paradox. However, this does not exclude a policy supporting frequent drug users if they can be identified

Keywords: drugs; drug-related problems; youth; prevention; ESPAD; drug policy

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