How do the youth of Monaco compare to the rest of Europe in regard to alcohol and substance use? The answer may be startling: the youth of Monaco show levels of substance use above and well-above the European average for alcohol, cannabis and social media. However, the Principality is among the least consuming countries in terms of daily smoking and heavy occasional alcoholism (binge drinking) among 16 year olds.
The ESPAD survey (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs) is carried out every 4 years in many European countries. It studies the health behaviours, lifestyle and consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for 16-year-old school children. In Monaco, the IMSEE publishes a complementary report on the results of the ESPAD survey which also studies non-substance related use (social networks, gambling) among 16-year-olds.
The survey, carried out in 2019 among all high school students in the Principality, indicates that most consumption is down among 16-year-old adolescents attending school in Monaco (particularly with regard to tobacco). However, the Principality shows levels of use overall above the European average, especially in regard to: alcohol, electronic cigarettes, cannabis (experimentation, use within the month and high risk of problematic use), daily use of social networks and sports betting for money.
Alcohol and Cannabis use at 16 in Monaco: well above European average
Until 2007, experimentation with alcoholic beverages among 16-year-old Europeans was around 9 out of 10 adolescents. A decline in alcohol use began and in 2019 was at 80% of 16-year-old students. Findings are noticeably different in Monaco, with 89% of 16 year olds using alcohol, or 9% more than the European average.
The proportion of cannabis use in Monaco among 16 year olds is also well above the European average for 2019: 22% of 16-year-old adolescents attending school in Monaco, or 6% more than the European average. This proportion is comparable to those observed in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.
The Principality is ranked 4th out of 35 European countries for recent cannabis use in 2019: 12% of 16-year-olds said they had smoked it during the month preceding the ESPAD survey. France is in 2nd position for this indicator, behind Italy (13% and 15% respectively).
Social Media use highest in Monaco
Monaco has the highest rate of 16-year-olds who spend at least half an hour a day on social networks in 2019, compared to any other European country. More than 97% of 16-year-old students in Monaco used social media in the last 7 days in 2019, compared to 94% overall, during a typical school day. On weekends or holidays, this proportion approaches 99% among adolescents in the Principality, which is also above the European average (96%).
The entire report is available at the following link.