Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse in Germany

Since the 1980s, the Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse (ESA) has regularly recorded the use of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and medications in the general population of Germany. The focus is on observing trends in substance use and its consequences. In addition, the Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse focuses on current research questions and developments. The survey thus complements the federal health reporting system as an important source of data.

Monitoring the use of psychoactive substances is of great importance for health policy. It provides the basis for assessing the extent of substance-related health damage in the population and specific subgroups. On this basis, decisions can be made for the development, implementation, and evaluation of measures to minimize substance-related problems.



Analysis of information provided by 48,469 adult respondents in 21 EU Member States and Switzerland
who had used illegal drugs
in the last 12 months


ESA 2021

Extrapolation of the proportion of individuals abusing NOA to the German population aged 18 to 64 is 3,243,396 individuals or 6.4%
(95%-CI [5.7- 7.1])


New: ESA 2021 analyses

For example 30-day prevalences: alcohol 70.5% (36.1 million), non-opioid analgesics (47.4%; 24.2 million), conventional tobacco products (22.7%; 11.6 million)


Our Institute

IFT Institut für Therapieforschung

Leopoldstraße 175
80804 München

Tel. +49 89 360804-0
Fax +49 89 360804-19

Gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Gesundheit