Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England

Key FactsThe National Health Service has been closely following the smoking, drinking and drug use trends amongst young people in England.

The series of surveys began in 1982. The most recent 2018 survey questioned 13,664 year 7 to 11 pupils, mostly aged 11 to 15, from 193 schools across England, between September 2018 and February 2019.

Data has been collected and analysed on:

Smoking: The Irish Situation Factsheet

Factsheet – Smoking: the Irish situationThe Health Research Board National Drugs Library has published a new factsheet that contains information on treatment, prevalence and mortality in Ireland.

The factsheet covers:

  • the impact of tobacco use 
  • the prevalence of smoking in Ireland
  • the number of people who attempted to quit smoking
  • information about e-cigarette and roll-your-own cigarettes
  • information on what the law says about smoking

Infographics: European Drug Report 2019

EMCDDA has developed a range of downloadable infographics to illustrate findings from the European Drug Report 2019.

The aim of the report is to provide reliable and detailed evidence of the drug situation in Europes so that practice and new policies can be informed by sound research.

By following trends, conclusions can be drawn and predictions made about how the drug situation might unfold in the future.


ADIKTOLOGIE is an international journal devoted to publishing peer-reviewed interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scientific reports on psychoactive substance use, other behavioural addictions and related issues.

The latest journal edition includes the following:

Original Articles
  • Infectious and Other Somatic Comorbidity in People who Inject Drugs – Results of a Cross-sectional Survey 
  • At-risk Adolescents in the Czech Republic
  • Resilience, Authenticity, Emotionality, and Vulnerability to Alcohol Dependence among Slovak University Students
  • Screening of Hazardous and Harmful Alcohol Consumption in a Primary Health Care Setting and in a General Population Survey 
  • Typology of Adolescents in Terms of their Leisure-time Substance Use 
  • Evaluation of a Czech Adaptation of the Boys and Girls Plus Prevention Programme 
  • Loneliness and the Prospect of Abstinence in Addicts in the Context of the Ecosystem Meta-theory of Social Work
  • The Role of Teachers in the Correction of Descriptive Normative Beliefs 

Review Articles

  • Problem Opioid Use in the Czech Republic from a Historical Perspective: Times are Changing but Opioid Pharmaceuticals Remain


European Drug Report (EDR) 2019: Trends and Developments

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published the latest European Drug Report, which provides an analysis of the latest data on the drug trends across the European Union, Norway and Turkey.

The aim of the report is to provide reliable and detailed evidence of the drug situation in Europes so that practice and new policies can be informed by sound research. By following trends, conclusions can be drawn and predictions made about how the drug situation might unfold in the future.

The publication provides information on the drug supply and the market, drug use prevalence and trends, drug-related harms and responses, and an overall commentary of the drug situation in Europe.

Alcohol Country Fact Sheets

The 30 country fact sheets for EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland present data on consumption, consequence, and policy implementation for the year 2016, aiming to give guidance to national decision-makers for further priority-setting in the field of alcohol and public health.

Besides trends in alcohol consumption, each fact sheet features a section on alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable harm, with special attention to young people, and a section on the implementation of key alcohol control policies, including the three WHO “best buys” – price increase, limits on availability and bans on advertising of alcohol. This allows for a quick overview of important subsets of alcohol policy measures that will support countries to assess their own progress towards reducing the burden of noncommunicable diseases and their key risk factors.

The fact sheets also present, for the first time, an individual overview of the composite indicator scores of the 10 areas of action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.

EUSPR Awards

The EUSPR Awards are now open!

Nominations can be made for:

  • The Sloboda Medal for sustained contribution to the development of Prevention Science in Europe and internationally
  • The Leading European Prevention Science Practitioner Honour- awarded for outstanding leadership of the adoption and implementation of evidence based prevention strategies, including support for further high-quality research evaluation.

Deadline for submission of nominations: September 1st 5pm (GMT)

3rd International Conference on Addiction Research and Therapy

Event Date

3rd International Conference on Addiction Research and Therapy is designed under the theme “An understandable look at the dilemma of Addiction” to show the latest trends on Addiction Science.

The key motto of Addiction Conference is to unite the like-minded individuals to mold the future of research that will shape the future of the world. Addiction Conference will rewrite your brain with the new technique and innovation which will help to boost self-esteem and confidence.

The Addiction Conference will feature for two days of scientific research on the latest developments which will include 15+ Keynote Speeches, 50+ invited talks and 100+ technical papers and it’s going to be a huge platform with more than 300 participants all around the world.

Gender-Specific Substance Use Patterns and Associations with Individual, Family, Peer, and School Factors in 15-Year-Old Portuguese Adolescents: A Latent Class Regression Analysis


Adolescence is a critical period of vulnerability to substance use. Recent research has shown that gender differences in adolescence substance use are complex and in constant flux. The present study aims to investigate gender differences in substance use and initiation patterns in male and female adolescents, and to assess individual, family, peer, and school associated factors of these patterns.


We applied latent class regression analysis to a Portuguese representative population sample of 1551 15-year-old adolescents, drawn from the 2010 ‘Health Behavior in School-Aged Children’ survey, to characterise different profiles of substance use and initiation for boys and girls, and to identify factors associated with latent class membership, stratifying the associations analysis by gender.


Three common classes were found for both genders, specifically, Non-Users(boys [B] 34.42%, girls [G] 26.79%), Alcohol Experimenters (B 38.79%, G 43.98%) and Alcohol and Tobacco Frequent Users (B 21.31%, G 10.36%), with two additional unique classes: Alcohol Experimenters and Tobacco Users in girls (18.87%), and Early Initiation and Poly-Substance Users in boys (5.48%). Poor school satisfaction, bullying, fighting and higher family affluence scale score formed a common core of associated factors of substance use, although we found gender differences in these associations. In girls, but not in boys, family factors were associated with more problematic substance use. Not living with both parents was associated with girl’s Alcohol and Tobacco Frequent Users(gATFU) class (OR 3.78 CI 1.18–12.11) and Alcohol Experimenters and Tobacco Users (AETU) class (OR 3.22 CI 1.4–7.44). Poor communication with mother was also associated with gATFU class membership (OR 3.82 CI 1.26–11.53) and AETU class (OR 3.66 CI 1.99–6.75). Additionally, a higher psychological symptoms score was associated with gATFU class membership (OR 1.16 CI 1.02–1.31).


Although we found common patterns and associated factors between boys and girls, we report two unique patterns of substance use in boys and girls and specific associations between family, school and peers, and individual factors with these patterns. These findings underscore the need for substance use prevention and health promotion programmes that address potential differences in substance use patterns and associated factors.

Priorities for UNODC Work on Drug Prevention and Treatment in Southeastern Europe

The programme of work of UNODC in any region of the world is developed in a consultative process together with the concerned Member States. That is why UNODC organised a Regional Consultative Meeting on the Development of the Sub-Programme 3 “Drug use prevention and treatment of substance use disorders” held on 16-17 May 2019 in Skopje, North Macedonia. The workshop brought together more than 30 experts and policy makers from the countries of Southeastern Europe  who jointly worked to identify priorities for the new UNODC regional programme  2020-2023. Priorities related to the prevention of substance use, drug use and other risky behaviours, as well as the provision of treatment, health care, social protection and rehabilitation services for people with drug use disorders, in the context of an approach to addressing the world drug problem that is based on science, ethical concerns and addressing gender and socio-economic inequalities.

Follow us on Twitter: @UNODC_PTRS

Experts and policy makers from Southeastern European countries together with UNODC staff

Webinar: Alcohol Related Liver Damage

Event Date

Public Health England will be hosting a webinar to discuss their work to reduce alcohol harm and the latest evidence and best practice examples for improving liver health at 14:00 on 20 May.

Email AlcoholCapitalFund [at] phe [dot] gov [dot] uk if you'd like to attend.

Gender and Alcohol Infographics

Based on recent research, Glasgow Caledonian University, Strathclyde University, SHAAP and Glasgow Centre for Population Health, have produced infographics to tackle stereotypes about men, women and drinking in Scotland.

The infographics highlight the role of societal norms, the media and the alcohol industry in perpetuating these stereotypes and call on policymakers, researchers and alcohol services to monitor and report outcomes by gender. 

Socioeconomic Inequalities in the Delivery of Brief Interventions for Smoking and Excessive Drinking: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Household Survey in England


Objectives: Brief interventions (BI) for smoking and risky drinking are effective and cost-effective policy approaches to reducing alcohol harm currently used in primary care in England; however, little is known about their contribution to health inequalities. This paper aims to investigate whether self-reported receipt of BI is associated with socioeconomic position (SEP) and whether this differs for smoking or alcohol.

Design: Population survey of 8978 smokers or risky drinkers in England aged 16+ taking part in the Alcohol and Smoking Toolkit Studies.

Measures: Survey participants answered questions regarding whether they had received advice and support to cut down their drinking or smoking from a primary healthcare professional in the past 12 months as well as their SEP, demographic details, whether they smoke and their motivation to cut down their smoking and/or drinking. Respondents also completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Smokers were defined as those reporting any smoking in the past year. Risky drinkers were defined as those scoring eight or more on the AUDIT.

Results: After adjusting for demographic factors and patterns in smoking and drinking, BI delivery was highest in lower socioeconomic groups. Smokers in the lowest social grade had 30% (95% CI 5% to 61%) greater odds of reporting receipt of a BI than those in the highest grade. The relationship for risky drinking appeared stronger, with those in the lowest social grade having 111% (95% CI 27% to 252%) greater odds of reporting BI receipt than the highest grade. Rates of BI delivery were eight times greater among smokers than risky drinkers (48.3% vs 6.1%).

Conclusions: Current delivery of BI for smoking and drinking in primary care in England may be contributing to a reduction in socioeconomic inequalities in health. This effect could be increased if intervention rates, particularly for drinking, were raised.

Digital Marketing in the Spotlight

Event Date

The Digital Marketing in the Spotlight conference is organised by EUCAM, EUROCARE and the Amsterdam Centre for Health Communication (ECHC) and will take place on the 19th of September in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The event will open up a conversation about the impact of digital marketing on the drinking behaviour of young people and ways it can be regulated.

Fifth Contemporary Drug Problems Conference

Event Date

Fifth Contemporary Drug Problems Conference will be held from the 4th to the 6th September 2019 at the Monash University Prato Centre in Prato, Italy, near Florence. 

The theme of the event is Rethinking ‘Change’: New Theories, New Topics, New Questions, New Methods.

The program will feature a mix of keynote presentations and will bring together leading international researchers in drug use and addiction studies from a range of research disciplines and methods – both qualitative and quantitative.

STAD in Europe Manual

Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking has a great impact on public safety and health.

In 2016 the STAD in Europe project (SiE) was launched. SiE is a European collaboration of 7 countries aiming to develop more knowledge on effective strategies to reduce binge drinking by limiting the availability of alcohol. STAD is a community approach and is based on the plan, do, study, act-cycle. This manual gives useful and practical information for all people willing to initiate and implement the STAD approach in their community.

The publication outlines the development of the programme. It offers a guide on how to conduct a needs assessment and start working with the STAD approach in your community. Finally, it gives advice on how to effectively and ethically monitor the progress of the programme within your community.