The ESPAD – European School Survey on Alcohol and Other Drugs – programme was launched in 1994 with the aim of collecting data on young people's smoking, alcohol and other drug consumption patterns. Aim is to collect data which are comparable across countries and over time. The survey is repeated every four years. The most important long-term goal of the project is to measure the changes in the consumption habits of young people and to compare the different trends of the participating countries. The first survey was conducted in 1995 with the participation of 26 European countries. Subsequently, data were collected in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015. In 2019, the seventh data collection wave of ESPAD took place. The number of participating countries varied between 30 and 35 along the different surveys.

The international results have been published in separate volumes, which can be downloaded from the ESPAD website. The Hungarian results are to be found in the research reports. Based on the Hungarian and cross-national results, numerous publications of the project have been prepared.

The previous ESPAD studies have been organized by The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN), and support has been provided by the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). As of 2017, the ESPAD Coordinator is Sabrina Molinaro (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR- PISA), and Julian Vicente is the EMCDDA representative. The Steering Committee is involved in the professional coordination of the project. The members are elected from among the leading researchers of the respective participating countries.

The ESPAD program is a joint intellectual property of the participating researchers. All key decisions on data collection are made during joint meetings, by the participating researchers and by a majority vote.

In Hungary, ESPAD data were collected at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Institute of Communication and Sociology, Corvinus University of Budapest. Lead researcher: Zsuzsanna Elekes. We cooperate with other researchers and research institutes in each wave of data collection. In 2019, in Hungary, participants of the data collection were: Tamás Domokos (ECHO Nonprofit Network Ltd.): sample design, research methodology expert; Vanda Pózner (student of BCE sociology BA): organiser; Zita Szűcsné Kovács: field research leader; Tamás Kosztolnyik: data recorder. Csaba Horváth Gergely (Hungarian National Focal Point), Zsolt Demetrovics and Orsolya Király (ELTE PPK Department of Clinical Psychology and Addiction) participated in the adaptation of the questionnaire, and in the elaboration of the Hungarian research team’s survey questions. The 2019 data collection in Hungary was supported by the NKFIH K127947, the Kodolányi János University Department of Sociology and the Hungarian National Focal Point.

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