One of the main findings in the annual Solutions and Interventions for Drugs, Addictions and Alcohol report was that women in the 25-44 age groups are taking more drugs, namely cannabis, and drinking more alcohol.
The report warns of a “worsening of cannabis consumption in the country” with “more intensive frequencies and dependency” from 2012 to 2016/17, along with a “worsening in the female group and in the 25-34 and 35-44 years age groups.”
Conducted by the Intervention in Addictive and Dependent Behaviours Service (SICAD), the document analyses the present situation in Portugal in terms of alcohol and drugs, based on statistics from 2016, and ages ranging from 15 to 74.
However, SICAD stressed that, based on the data available, indicators relating to HIV and AIDS infections associated with drug dependency and mortality are declining.
With regard to alcohol consumption, the document highlights that it is now harder for younger people to access drink, perhaps in part due to a law change that came into effect in July 2015 which makes all alcohol illegal to under-18s, and the onset of consumption among younger populations is starting at increasingly later ages.
However, it plugged the point that there is a need to increase supervision of selling to minors.
SICAD elaborated “important health gains have been made in terms of morbidity, in particular a decrease in hospital admissions with a main diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis”, but did say that the frequency of binge drinking has increased.
The recently-released report revealed that cannabis was the most commonly consumed drug in Portugal in 2016, with sixty-four per cent of cannabis users surveyed by SICAD saying that they consumed it four or more times a week, during the year covered by the document.
In relation to other drugs, their use has remained stable or even decreased.
SICAD stresses that the country remains below the European average values for the prevalence of recent consumption of cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy - the three most-consumed substances.