Profiling drug use at 18 in Portugal


Design and Setting

National census


All the 18 year old (N=82 872) that participated in The National Defense Day in 2018 (all Portuguese citizens with 18 year old in 2017 were mandated to go to this initiative).


Self- reported lifetime, last 12 months and last 30 days frequency of tobacco, alcohol, non-prescribed medicines, NPS and illicit drugs use (cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines/methamphetamines, hallucinogens and heroin/other opiates) use; last 12 months frequency of binge drinking and subjective drunkenness, policonsumption in the last 12 months; experience of problems related with alcohol /illicit drugs use in the last 12 months; sociodemography (gender, education, employment). It was performed a cluster analysis based on last 12 months substance use (1st step: hierarquical; 2nd step: k-means). 5 clusters were identified and described according to patterns of concumption, experience of problems and sociodemography.


18 year old in Portugal can be segmented in 5 clusters according with last 12 months drug use, each one with increased level of intensity and risk: Non-users (15%); Users of alcohol and tobacco (60%); Users of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis (21%); Users of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and amphetamines/methamphetamines (3%) and Users of all substances (1%). Each cluster has some specificities concerning sociodemography, patterns of consumption and experience of problems related with substance use.


The majority of Portuguese 18 year old use alcohol and tobacco and approximately a quarter use alcohol, tobacco and cannabis but 1% are more problematic drug users. Identifying clusters of drug users can provide some guidance on prevention policies.


Presentation files

EP939Ludmila Carapinha.pdf1.51 MBDownload


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