The Global Drug Survey 2015 is the biggest survey of drug use ever conducted, with results from 102,462 people in over 50 countries.
And the winners are:
Image: The Independent/Global
Drug Survey 2015
The previous year’s results (2013) were based on a sample size of 78,819:
Previous Year’s results, 2013
LSD, Amphetamine, and Cocaine use have all dropped. MDMA and Ketamine are about the same. Weed has grown from 48.2% to 55%, perhaps because of the major public moves towards decriminalization and legalization of marijuana all around the world and the accompanying boom in “good news stories” about positive medical benefits.
Research chemicals may be increasing in popularity in the US EDM scene, but the survey shows their use is declining around the world – except maybe in Poland.
Research Chemical Use, 2014
This year’s results show that the closure of Silk Road in 2013 did nothing to stop drug sales on the Darknet – in fact, quite the opposite. More than a quarter of respondents bought drugs for the first time online in 2014.
Image: The Guardian/Global Drug Survey
The Global Drug Survey has been tracking the rise of e-commerce for drugs for some time now.
British addictions psychiatrist and survey founder Dr Adam Winstock said the safety and quality online drug stores provide is also attractive to buyers.
“Buying things online gives you product range,” he said.
“I think there is an opportunity of getting improved quality. I think some people would perceive it as safer and certainly a lot of people say it’s safer to buy drugs online. There’s less risk of, you know, getting involved in face to face dealing.”
Dr Winstock said while the shift to online may attract new buyers, it is mostly existing dealers making the move at present.
“What we’re seeing is simply a displacement of people who would otherwise buy drugs on the street,” he said. [Source]
HOW HAS ACCESSING DRUGS THROUGH DARKNET MARKETS AFFECTED THE RANGE OF DRUGS YOU HAVE CONSUMED?
Molly and acid were particularly popular for online shoppers.
WHICH DRUGS WERE BOUGHT THROUGH DARK NET? (%)
Buying drugs anonymously over the Internet is much less likely to lead to violence and threats than buying them in person from criminals. The downside is, you may send the money but the product never shows. If it does arrive, you are much more likely to get what you paid for.
COMPARING ISSUES BETWEEN DARK NET & ALT SOURCE
For the first time, the Global Drug Survey compiled a “Net Pleasure Index” from more than 22,000 respondents.
Image: Global Drug Survey 2015
One somewhat surprising finding of the survey was that Hippie Crack aka Nitrous Oxide is the second most popular drug in the UK.
Police intervention was one of the least likely reasons to make someone stop taking drugs.
People who stopped using illicit drugs tended to give responses suggesting they had grown out of using them: 38% of cannabis and cocaine users; and 42% of MDMA users said they made no conscious decision to stop and that “it just happened”. Common responses included “I do not like the effects anymore” and “using it doesn’t fit with my lifestyle anymore”.
Almost no respondents cited police intervention as a motivating factor in stopping. Less than 1% of respondents said they had rethought their behaviour after being caught by the police, and worries about getting caught were cited by only 3% of those who stopped taking cannabis and 2% of those who stopped using cocaine or MDMA. [Source]
In Australia, the high price of imported drugs is leading to a boom in crystal meth, with all the associated negative social issues.
According to the survey, Australians are among the biggest users of prescription drugs.
“The Americans remain the world leaders in prescription drug use but Australia’s not far behind,” Dr Winstock said.
But Australians are increasingly misusing prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and sleeping tablets, Dr Winstock said.
“I think, in part, that’s because other sorts of opiate drugs that are available in Australia are really expensive,” he said. “That’s the other thing that probably characterises the Australian drug scene more than anything else … your really expensive drugs.“
Dr Winstock said Australia’s strict border security meant drugs were more expensive because they were harder to get into the country.
“It’s really difficult to get anything into your country,” he said. But the high drug prices in Australia mean many often choose to buy cheaper alternatives, including crystal methamphetamine, or ice.
“The fact that you’ve got one that’s incredibly dangerous and is causing havoc for a lot of people’s mental health and well being is a bit unfortunate,” he said. “I think the reason Australia will probably be protected from running into serious cocaine problems is because [it costs] about $350 a gram. Most people are probably going to think there’s better ways they can spend their money.” [Source]
PRICE PER GRAM OF COCAINE (IN EUROS; 1 EURO = $1.13 USD)
Ecstasy in Australia costs about double the global average. Despite this Australians lead the chart in pill-popping.
Read the official findings for 2015 here.
More videos can be found here, including Alcohol, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and Nitrous Oxide.