Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS)

The Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) is part of an important and long established series of national surveys on smoking, drinking and drug use. The survey is conducted on a biennial basis, targeting secondary school pupils in local authority and independent schools.


The Scottish Government has commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct the 2018 wave of SALSUS. The fieldwork took place between November 2018 and January 2019 and collected the responses of over 30,000 young people – providing both national and local level data.

The data collected will be stored securely and in accordance with the 2018 Data Protection Act. For more information please view the data privacy notice for the project.

SALSUS 2015: reports

The SALSUS 2015 survey provides national level data on smoking, drinking, drug use and lifestyle issues amongst Scotland’s secondary school children. 

The research was commissioned by the Scottish Government and carried out by Ipsos MORI Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between September 2015 and January 2016. Further information on the fieldwork and data processing for the SALSUS 2015 survey is available in the Technical Report (2015).

For the first time, some respondents completed the survey online (rather than paper). A mode effect study was conducted during the 2015 Survey to examine whether the different routes of administration resulted in any difference in the data collected. More information and the results of this study are available in the Mode Effect Report (2015).

A list of all the survey questions is available in the 2015 Questionnaire.

SALSUS 2015: follow-up reports

Seven follow-up reports were published on 17 May 2017 including a report on Mental Wellbeing and a report on Lifestyle Trends.

Other SALSUS Publications

SALSUS Time Trends Dataset

A new SALSUS resource has been developed by Ipsos Mori containing all the SALSUS datasets from 1990-2013.  This enables time series analysis for the first time.  This is available from the UK Data Archive.

The user guide is available here.

It is suitable for teaching and research purposes.


The SALSUS 2013 reports and datatables are available via the Information Services Division (ISD) website (published on 25th November 2014).

The 2013 survey provides data at Health Board, Local Authority and Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) level.

SALSUS 2013 was run on the Scottish Government’s behalf by Information Services Division (ISD). ISD Scotland is part of NHS National Services Scotland. Ipsos MORI carried out the fieldwork.

Information is also available on a SALSUS 2014 event which showcased SALSUS 2013 reports.

Previous SALSUS reports are also available on the ISD website.

SALSUS 2013 infographics.


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