British Drugs Survey 2014: A Look At the UK’s Drug Culture
The results of The Guardian's 2014 survey reveals fascinating insight into the nation’s drug habits.
It is believed that more than 15 million Britons (that's almost one in three adults), have taken illegal drugs at some stage or another. Of that figure, a fifth are said still said to do so - 40% of which originating from the upper crust of society; certainly flying in the face of any archaic drug-user stereotypes. With drug taking becoming so widespread, the once 'gender gap' is also no longer the giant chasm it once was, resembling something more akin to a hairline crack. Based upon comparative studies from 2002 and 2008, data now suggests that both sexes are equally as likely to have taken drugs.
With the playing field seemingly now on equal gender footing (so to speak), what other interesting stats did this survey unearth? We cherry picked a few interesting facts and figures from the bunch - some of which may surprise you.
#1 In your opinion, do you think you have ever had a problem with drugs?
Despite the significant rise in drug use, for the large majority surveyed it did not constitute a problem. In fact, an overwhelming 87% of those who had taken drugs did not believe they ever had a problem with them. However, the remaining 13% of drug users did believe they had a problem, equating to around 2 million people!
#2 How old were you when you first took an illegal drug?
The survey found that on average, drugs users had their first experiences aged 19. This 'dabbling period' (for lack of a better term) continued for an average of seven years before they'd give up at the age of 26. Interestingly enough, the poll also seem to suggest that the earlier the age at which drug experimentation commenced, the longer the relationship with drugs. Users who experienced drugs at an earlier age (16 being the average) were far more likely to be still using.
#3/4 Would you consider taking illegal drugs in the future/ if they were decriminalized? (2 questions)
In total, 13% of Britons would consider taking drugs in the future. This percentage includes both current users and those have taken drugs in the past, against a backdrop of non and past users totalling 87%. The follow question takes away the criminal aspect of drug usage, this in turn made for a more appealing prospect. As a result, 16% of Britons said they would consider taking drugs in the future if they were decriminalised.
5# Do you believe the "war on drugs" can ever be won?
Unsurprisingly, the large majority of brits are generally unconvinced about the prospect of the "war on drugs" ever being brought to a unanimous conclusion. Only 16% believe it can actually be won.
6# Which drugs do you believe should either be legalised or decriminalised?
Another fairly foreseeable outcome, 88% of brits believe that marijuana should be made be legal or decriminalised. However with that being said, advocacy of all drugs being either legalised or decriminalised is a big no no!
These were just a few of the questions featured in the survey for the full set please click here.