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Statistical bulletin help and explanatory notes page

General notes for interpreting data

Methods and definitions

A brief summary of the methodological and definitional basis for each of the main areas is to be found within each category area. Links are provided to the detailed protocols and guidelines relating to each area that are held elsewhere on the EMCDDA website.

Unavailability of data

Where possible, unavailability of data is indicated explicitly with a colon in the corresponding cell ":". In cases where this is not done, a blank cell in a table indicates that no data is available for a country for a specific year or category. Only countries reporting relevant data are included in a graph, hence unavailability of data may be inferred from the absence of a country from the graphic or from the absence of plotted values for specific years or categories.


Almost all tables and graphs are accompanied with detailled notes which are important for the interpretation of the data. If the data is used elsewhere, it is important that any relevant notes be retained. 

Technical help

Formats used

Statistics are presented either as tables or graphs. Most tables can be viewed directly on the screen. All tables can be downloaded in spreadsheet format (.xls). Some of the larger data tables in the bulletin, which may be difficult to view on screen, are presented directly in spreadsheet format (.xls).

Graphs are presented in .gif format for online viewing (they may also be saved in this format). Graphs may also be downloaded in spreadsheet format (.xls).

Reusing the data

The information provided here may be freely reused, provided it is reproduced accurately, not presented in a misleading way and that all sources are acknowledged (please pay particular attention to the footnotes which accompany most of the statistics). The EMCDDA cannot be held responsible for any liability arising due to the reuse of this information and though every effort is made to ensure that the information is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is error free. We are happy to learn of any projects where the data have been used, along with any feedback you might have.

Comments, questions or feedback

Any comments, questions or feedback may be addressed to online[a]emcdda.europa.eu (replace '[a]' with '@' in the email address given here before sending).


Unless otherwise stated, all data was provided to the EMCDDA by the Reitox national focal points. Statistical graphics were designed by Carolina de los Arcos. Icons courtesy of famfamfam.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 09 August 2011