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The Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse

The Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse (ESA) has been conducted at regular intervals since the 1980s, collecting data on the use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs as well as pharmaceutics amongst the general public in Germany. The emphasis is on the observation of trends in the use of substances and their consequences. In addition, the Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse refers to current research questions and developments, with varying topics in focus. As such, the survey complements the health reporting of the German federal government as an important source of data.  

The monitoring of psychoactive substance use has a high level of health policy significance. It provides the basis for assessing the extent of adverse substance use related health effects in the population and within particular groups. On this basis, decisions can be made as to the development, implementation and evaluation of measures to minimise substance use related problems.

Current publication

IFT - Institut für Therapieforschung

(1) Study design and methodology

(2) Substance use in the German general population: results of the 2015 Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse

(3) Time trends in substance use in the German general population: a review of two decades


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IFT Institut für Therapieforschung


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