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Motivations and perceptions associated with drug use in adolescents

Before they reach the end of their teenage years, the majority of French young people have already experimented with alcohol, tobacco and, often, cannabis as well. A significant number are already regular users of one or more of these substances. Such use is particularly harmful to health since it occurs at an age when the brain has not yet fully matured. Why do adolescents use psychoactive substances? Why do some of them become regular users while others manage to stay away from them? Although these issues are a priority for public authorities, they remain poorly documented in France, apart from a few, rare fragmented studies concerning adolescent perceptions.

To address the urgent need identified by the 2013-2017 French Government Plan for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviours to develop effective drug use prevention strategies and meet the recommendations of the collective expert report of the INSERM on adolescent addictive behaviours (INSERM 2014), this study project aims to explore use trajectories during adolescence, by examining the motivations behind their use and the perceptions associated with various psychoactive substances (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, other illegal drugs).

By focusing on the intentions of substance users and the reasons for their actions, in relation to their lifestyles and personal situations, it aims to illustrate what contribution social sciences can make to improving our understanding of addictive behaviour during adolescence in order, ultimately, to improve the effectiveness of prevention strategies.


- Detailed presentation of the project

- Results of the ARAMIS qualitative survey (2014-2017)









Drugs in Europe

2023 EMCDDA European Drug Report

The European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments presents the EMCDDA’s latest analysis of the drug situation in Europe. Focusing on illicit drug use, related harms and drug supply, the report contains a comprehensive set of national data across these themes and key harm-reduction interventions. This report is based on information provided to the EMCDDA by the EU Member States, the candidate country Türkiye, and Norway, in an annual reporting process.

  Statistical Bulletin 2023

The annual Statistical Bulletin contains the most recent available data on the drug situation in Europe provided by the Member States. These datasets underpin the analysis presented in the European Drug Report. All data may be viewed interactively on screen and downloaded in Excel format.

The European Union and the drug phenomenon

miniFAQDrugsEurope.jpgThe European Union & the drug phenomenon : Frequently asked questions, joint publication between the EMCDDA and the European Commission, october 2010, 12 p.