Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) By Young People In the European Union
"Overall, an average of 2.5% of the students had used NPS at least once in the last 12 months, with the highest prevalence reported in Czechia, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Monaco (4.0-4.9%) and the lowest prevalence reported in North Macedonia, Finland and Portugal ( 0.4-0.8%; Figure 10a). Generally, differences in NPS use between boys and girls were small; however, significantly more boys than girls reported the use of NPS in Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Montenegro, Norway and Serbia, and significantly more girls than boys reported the use of NPS in Latvia and Slovenia (Figure 10b).
"Among all students who had used NPS in the last 12 months, the majority (54%) reported use of herbal synthetic substances; 27% reported use of NPS in the form of powders or tablets, 13% reported the use of NPS in the form of liquids and 17% reported the use of NPS in other forms. Only a few countries reported higher rates of use of NPS in forms other than herbal smoking mixtures. In particular, powders/tablets were used by the majority of last-year NPS users in Finland (64%) and Norway (54%), liquids were reported by 36% of the users in the Netherlands, and the use of NPS in other forms was reported by half of the users in North Macedonia. Even though on average the differences between boys and girls in the reported appearance of NPS used in the last 12 months were low, in most individual countries noticeable gender differences were found. Focusing only on differences higher than 15 percentage points, with regard to herbal NPS, boys reported higher prevalence rates than girls in Romania, Georgia, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands, while girls reported higher rates in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Slovakia and Lithuania; for powders/tablets, girls reported higher prevalence rates in many countries (Kosovo, Georgia, Slovakia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and Portugal), while a higher rate was found among boys in Cyprus; and higher prevalence rates were found for liquid forms of NPS among male users than female users in Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Lithuania and North Macedonia, with girls reporting higher rates in the Netherlands and Finland (see Additional Table 71a and b)."
ESPAD Group (2020), ESPAD Report 2019: Results from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs, EMCDDA Joint Publications, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.