Adolescent Substance Use and Risk Behaviours in the Mediterranean Region


The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. It comprises 46 member states, 27 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The Pompidou Group provides a multidisciplinary forum at the wider European level for policy makers, professionals and researchers to exchange experiences and information on drug use and drug trafficking. Formed at the suggestion of French President Georges Pompidou in 1971, it became a Council of Europe enlarged partial agreement in 1980 open to countries outside the Council of Europe.

On 16 June 2021, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the revised Pompidou Group statute, which extends its mandate to include addictive behaviours related to licit substances (such as alcohol or tobacco) and new forms of addictions (such as internet gambling and gaming). The new mandate focuses on human rights while reaffirming the need for a multidisciplinary approach to address the drug challenge, which can only be tackled effectively if policy, practice and science are linked.

To better reflect both its identity as a Council of Europe entity and its broadened mandate, the Pompidou Group changed its official name from the “Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs” to the “Council of Europe International Co-operation Group on Drugs and Addictions”. As of 2022, it encompasses 41 out of 46 member states of the Council of Europe, Mexico, Morocco and Israel, and the European Commission.

MedNET is the Mediterranean network of the Pompidou Group for co-operation on drugs and addictions. It comprises 18 countries from the northern and southern rims of the Mediterranean. MedSPAD is the Mediterranean School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs.

This is the fourth regional report from MedSPAD, and it provides insights into substance use and risk behaviours among adolescents and the socio-economic and policy context in the Mediterranean region. It follows the work presented in the 2019 report “An insight into alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in the Mediterranean region: socio-economic, policy context and patterns of use among adolescents”, which covered 13 countries.

For this report, 11 countries – Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia – provided raw survey data estimating the perceived availability and risk of substances, early onset of substance use, and prevalence of the use of alcohol, tobacco, other substances, gambling, gaming and social media use.

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