The new ESPAD Report is here with some shocking revelations about the substance use of Hungarian students aged 15-16. To summarise, they are at the forefront in terms of smoking and drinking. They smoke fewer cigarettes but do more illicit drugs than they used to.
The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) is a cross-sectional study of substance use and other forms of risk behaviour among students in Europe aged 15-16 years.
Results of the latest ESPAD reveal that almost all Hungarian participants have tried alcohol, ¼ of them smoke cigarettes regularly, and over ¼ of them have tried some type of illicit drug. Hungarian students also came in first in designer drug use, 24 reports.
The ESPAD’s target population are students who reach the age of 16 in the calendar year of the survey. The study looks at students who are enrolled in regular, vocational, general, or academic studies and who are present in the classroom on the day of the survey. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires. All countries used a paper-and-pencil questionnaire except for Austria, Denmark, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Norway, where students answered a web-based questionnaire, and the Faroes and Italy used a mixed administration mode.
Students reported that cigarettes are the easiest to come by, despite the legal age to even enter a “national tobacco shop.” Six out of ten respondents have tried a cigarette before. Interestingly, the ratio was higher among girls. On average, students reported having smoked their first cigarette at the age of 14.
About one-fourth of the students smoke regularly. Here, the ratio is higher among boys than girls. E-cigarettes are also getting more and more popular: 60% of boys and 50% of the girls have tried it.
In terms of alcohol use, Hungary came in second, tied with Austria. Denmark finished first, where 40% of the students said that they got drunk at least once in the last month.
92.4% of Hungarian students have tried alcohol. On average, the first time of alcohol consumption was reported after the age of 13. However, one-tenth of respondents have tried alcohol even before that.
65.5% of them have drunk at least once 30 days prior to the day of the survey. Boys tend to drink more often, and they prefer beer, while more girls opt for wine.
Marijuana is the most popular illicit drug among Hungarian students, but their average is still below the EU average. Designer drugs are also widespread among Hungarian students. In fact, designer drug use was highest in Hungary among the EU nations.
In terms of illicit drug use, the Hungarian numbers are getting closer to the EU average but are still below it. However, answers indicate that certain drugs seem to be much less accessible in Hungary than in other EU states. However, amphetamine and cocaine were reported surprisingly easy to come by in Hungary. 3.3% of Hungarian students tried cocaine. This number might seem low, but it was enough to get Hungary into the top 10 EU states for cocaine use among 16-year olds. Cocaine is also one of the most expensive drugs with its HUF 20,000 (EUR 55.3) per gram price.
Source: 24.hu; espad.org