The Institute for Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (ICAD) released the V National Survey on the Consumption of Psychoactive Substances in the General Population, Portugal 2022, which once again presents alcohol as the most consumed psychoactive substance in Portugal.

Three out of every four people (75.8%) between the ages of 15 and 74 have had at least one experience of drinking alcohol in their lifetime.

The value is close to those recorded over the last 20 years, a series only broken in 2017, when the rate reached 86.4%.

Researchers attribute this increase to consumption claims made by women, which soared that year.

Returning to 2022, it appears that alcohol consumption in the last year has increased, since 2017, from 59.4% to 63.5%, and consumption in the last month has increased by seven percentage points: from 49.1% to 56.4% in that same period.

The study also shows that more people smoke tobacco: “The prevalence of tobacco consumption increased, between 2017 and 2022, from 48.8% to 51%”.

If in the 2001 report the prevalence was 40%, the number of people who admitted having smoked at some point in their lives has increased, approaching 50% in recent years, and now reaching 51%.

There are also more regular consumers: The percentage of people who admit to having smoked in the last month “increased slightly in 2022, reaching 31.9% compared to 30.6% in the previous study (2017)”, says the report.

Among illicit psychoactive substances, the percentage of people who say they have tried it is 11.2%, with cannabis being the most consumed, with 10.5% of respondents admitting that they had already tried it, of which 2.4% had used it in the last year and 2% in the last month.

The remaining substances have a lifetime prevalence of between 0.9% (cocaine) and 0.2% (new psychoactive substances).

“The prevalence of consumption among the general population is higher among male respondents regardless of the psychoactive substance considered, with the exception of medicines”, states the study.

Regarding medication consumption, sedatives, tranquilizers or hypnotics have a prevalence of 14.2%, while stimulants were consumed by 1.1% of the population and opioid analgesics by 7.5%.

In addition to the consumption of psychoactive substances, researchers analysed other risk behaviours, such as playing games of chance and using the Internet.

As for addictive behaviours without substance, the prevalence of gambling (gambling), which had decreased by almost twenty percentage points between 2012 and 2017, increased again.

“The prevalence of games of chance (cash games) is 55.6% in the population residing in Portugal”, compared to 48.1% in 2017.

“The Euromillions game is the one with the highest prevalence. The prevalence of gambling is higher among men than among women. The prevalence of playing electronic games in the last 12 months is, in 2022, 8.8% of the population residing in Portugal”.

The study also points to an increase in Internet use: In 2022, 79.6% will use the Internet, almost 20% more than in 2017.

The survey was carried out by CICS.NOVA – Interdisciplinary Center for Social Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH) for SICAD – Intervention Service in Addictive Behaviours and Addictions, following studies carried out in 2001, 2007, 2012, and 2017.