28 July 2011

Everyone’s taking cocaine. And ketamine. And mephedrone.

The ‘Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2010/11 British Crime Survey’, published today by The Home Office, 28/07/11, estimates that 8.8 per cent of adults aged 16 to 59 had used illicit drugs (almost  three million people) and that 3.0 per cent had used a Class A drug in the last year (around a million  people).
Also the long-term trend displays relatively constant levels of Class A drug use overall, within this category there were increases in powder cocaine use between the 1996 and 2010/11.
As in previous years, among adults aged 16 to 59, cannabis was the most commonly used type of drug (6.8%, around 2.2 million people), followed by powder cocaine  (2.1%, 0.7 million people) and ecstasy (1.4%, 0.5 million people).
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The 2010/11 BCS shows that levels of  ketamine  use (at 0.6%) were around double those when questions on the use of this drug were first asked in the 2006/07 BCS (0.3%)
New measures of drug use added to the BCS for drugs recently classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act show that last year use of mephedrone (1.4%) was at a similar level as  ecstasy use (1.4%) among those aged 16 to 59 (the third most used drug within this age group). For those aged 16 to 24, mephedrone use (4.4%) was at a similar level of use as powder cocaine (4.4%; the second most used drug amongst young people).

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Mephedrone prevalence amongst 16 to 24 year olds is at a similar level to that for powder cocaine, the second most used drug in this age group, at 4.4 per cent. Levels of mephedrone use are relatively high when compared with other drugs asked about in the 2010/11.
 At 1.4 per cent, the level of use for adults aged 16 to 59 is similar to that for ecstasy (also 1.4% BCS), the third most prevalent drug in this age group. For adults aged 16 to 24, the level of mephedrone use (4.4%) was similar to powder cocaine (4.4%), the second most taken drug within this age group (Tables 2a, 2.2 and 2.6). 

You are more likely to take drugs if you are:
·        In the 16 to 19 age group
·        A man
·        Single
·        Have  ‘a higher frequency of alcohol consumption’
·        Go to the nightclub and pub
·        White
·        Unemployed
·        Belong to a household in the lowest income group (£10,000 or less)
·        Live in an urban area
·        Live in a household with no children
·        live in private-rented accommodation
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Estimates based on new questions introduced into the 2010/11 BCS about attitudes to the acceptability of getting drunk, taking cannabis, cocaine and heroin showed that: 
  The majority of adults aged 16 to 59 believed that it is acceptable to get drunk occasionally (74%) or frequently (6%). 
  The majority of those aged 16 to 59 believed it was never acceptable to take cannabis (65%), cocaine (91%) or heroin (98%).
  Younger adults aged 16 to 24 were twice as likely to believe it to be acceptable to frequently take cannabis (4%) compared with older adults aged 25 to 59 (2%). 
  Around six out of ten adults (59%) had last bought or been given drugs at home or in someone else’s home.
  Around one in ten (9%) had been on the street, in a park, or other outdoor area when they had last bought or been given drugs.

Remember when looking at crime statistics take into account the 'dark figure of crime'.