Nuevas y viejas adicciones: Implicaciones para la salud pública

Translated title of the contribution: New and old addictions: Implications for Public Health

María Teresa Brugal, Alicia Rodríguez-Martos, Joan R. Villalbí

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to certain authors, any pleasure giving behaviour may become a habit, and depending on the circumstances, an addiction. The objective of this study is to examine the situation of addictions in Spain and the responses generated by health policies. In recent years, both the type and pattern of drug consumption in Spain, has undergone a noticeable change. Studies of the evolution of tobacco consumption suggest that the peak has passed, even though prevalence is still high. Alcohol consumption per capita has fallen by 25% in the last 25 years. During the same period, pattern of consumption has been modified. Sporadic drinking, in episodes of binging and drinking away from meals, is one of the patterns on the rise. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, in Spain, 27.8% of the population between 15-64 years old has consumed an illegal drug at least once in their lives, with the prevalence rising to 38% among the 15-34 year olds. Cannabis is the most consumed (29% among 15-64 age group), followed by cocaine (5.9%), and ecstasy (4.6%). Spain, comparing with other countries of European Union, is the third in cannabis, ecstasy, and amphetamine and the first in cocaine consumption. With respect to the so-called behavioral addictions, no consensus in the field of psychiatry has been reached. The only psychological addiction with clear diagnostic criteria is gambling. The rest (Internet, sex, etc.), perhaps for their novelty, continue to be the object of controversy. New addictions, as much to addictive substances as to addictive behaviors, run parallel to the development of industrialized societies, leisure, free time, and a new way of life. This is the new challenge for Public Health.

Translated title of the contributionNew and old addictions: Implications for Public Health
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Gambling
  • Public polices
  • Substance abuse
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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