Explanatory notes and help

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 under Methods and definitions. Links are provided to the detailed protocols and guidelines relating to each area that are held elsewhere on the EMCDDA website.

Unavailability of data

Countries reporting no data for the period or categories covered are not included in the respective tables. 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 graphic, 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. In a small number of cases, unavailability of data is indicated explicitly.

Help with technical aspects

Printing tables, graphics and text

Text, graphics and most tables can be printed directly from the screen. The data of many of the graphics and all the tables can be filtered using the data filter (found to the bottom right of tables and graphics) to produce versions containing a selection of the data. The data tables produced by the data filter have improved printability compared to those printed directly from the unfiltered tables. The data filter can also be used to view, when available, the table of data behind a graphic.

Accessing data

Data in the data tables and for most graphics can be accessed in several ways: by copying directly from the browser (data tables only); by copying the data table displayed via the data filter; and, in xml format by using the xml link found next to the data filter link.

Saving graphics

Many of the graphics can also be downloaded in swf format by right-clicking on the link located below the graphic. Graphics not available in swf format can be saved as jpeg files by right-clicking on the image.

Technical note: The graphics require Active-X controls to be allowed on the client PC and use Flash software.

Supplementary downloadable tables

Some of the larger data tables in the bulletin, which may be difficult to view on screen, are held as downloadable tables on the website. These are listed under 'Supplementary downloadable tables' in the respective chapters and in the index of tables and graphics, and are available in spreadsheet format (MS Excel) for downloading and viewing.


You can browse through the bulletin in several ways:

  • from the Table of contents page you can go directly to the subject sections (chapters)

  • on the first page of each chapter, an additional navigation bar gives links to the chapter's sections

  • using the Index of tables and graphics to go directly to a table or graphic

  • page by page by using the and '< <prev' and 'next&gt>>' links on the top right and bottom of each page

  • using the 'breadcrumbs' navigation bar to go back to higher levels

  • using the side navigation bar (at left of page): the links available depend on the hierarchical level of the page you are viewing:

    • viewing one of the main divisions of the bulletin, the bar displays links to other relevant sites

    • viewing the main page of a chapter, the bar displays links to all chapters of the bulletin

    • viewing the main page of one of the sections within a chapter, the bar displays links to the other sections within that chapter

    • the side navigation bar is not available in tables and graphics