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  1. Phenoxide
    The proportion of adults who say they use illegal drugs has fallen to its lowest level since records began, a Home Office study suggests.

    Just over 8% of adults - around 2.7m people - admitted taking an illegal drug during the last year, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

    This compares with 11.1% in 1996 and 12.3% at its peak in 2003/04. But the report found 6% of young adults used nitrous oxide - or laughing gas - in the last year. Both nitrous oxide and psychoactive drug salvia, which both feature in the survey for the first time, are legal substances.

    Illicit drug-use has been largely in decline since 2003 and the figures for 2012/13 represent a 0.7% drop on the previous year.

    'Really positive'

    The survey found the proportion of 16 to 59-year-olds who said they had taken a class A drug in the last year fell from 3% to 2.6% - although the level has remained broadly the same since records began.

    Among young adults, aged 16 to 24, reported class A drug-use had almost halved since the first survey of its kind in 1996.

    The decline was down to the falling popularity of ecstasy, magic mushrooms and LSD. But reported levels of cocaine-use - the second most popular drug after cannabis - were higher than 17 years ago.

    In 1996, the proportion of adults saying they used cocaine was 0.6%, but it was now more than three times higher at 1.9% - although this was down from its 3% peak five years ago. According to the survey, young people were almost twice as likely to say they had used drugs than the adult population overall, with 16.3% of 16 to 24-year-olds taking them in the last year

    Home Office minister Jeremy Browne said the results overall were "really positive news".

    A spokesman added that, while legal, laughing gas should "not be experimented with" and that "any suggestion of abuse, particularly by young people, is of concern".

    The annual Crime Survey for England and Wales is based on interviews with 21,000 adults. It also found that almost four out of five people thought cannabis was either "very" or "a bit" unsafe. And at 99%, almost all of those surveyed thought taking heroin was unsafe, while 97% said the same of taking cocaine or ecstasy.

    Proportion of Adults Taking Drugs in the Past Year
    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    Cannabis 9.5% 6.9% 6.4%
    Cocaine 0.6% 2.2% 1.9%
    Ecstasy 1.7% 1.4% 1.3%
    Mephedrone n/a 1.1% 0.5%
    Ketamine n/a 0.6% 0.4%

    BBC News
    25th July 2013


  1. Rob Cypher
    It's probably due to the fact that nitrous is seen as relatively benign compared to most of the other drugs on the list (not to mention legal), so more folks are comfortable with admitting using it recreationally, I imagine. I bet the percentages/numbers listed for the other drugs would rise a bit if more folks were 100% honest with the survey in question. Most "Class A drug" [ab]users (I'm guessing "Class A" is the UK equivalent of the US's Schedule I/II) probably aren't too eager to be open about their usage with a government agency, even if they're repeatedly assured that their info will be kept confidential/not used against them.

    One thing that's interesting - cocaine use is actually up in the UK, whereas it's down by 40% in the US according to recent figures. I have to wonder if that is due to the Brits outright banning whole classes of stimulants like the cathiones (in 2010, IIRC), whereas the US doesn't (yet) have such a comprehensive ban on the federal level (outside of a few internationally infamous ones like MDPV).

    Food for thought, I guess.
  2. Monstermunch231
    0.4% of adults have taken ketamine in the last year... that is COMPLETE bollocks!

    If this wasn't a Home Office Study, then I'm sure the figures would be quite a bit different...

    You know what this means: we need to try harder next year
  3. SpatialReason
    *assumes the role of the coked out board member*
    "Boys, the annual results are down. Sales are down... we need to come up with a scheme... a new marketing scheme... a plan... outside the box... NO MORE BOXES! These numbers just won't cut it! WE NEED TO TRY HARDER! HARDER! ... excuse me while I take care of my nose bleed."

    Seriously. Bullshit. People are just figuring out what RCs and legal highs are about and just flying under the radar. As the British folks up in here say: bollocks... The decline is because of the rising popularity of 6-APBD, 4-ACO-DMT, and, well, LSD just doesn't exist enough any more to be justifiable in this story... its all f'in 2C-X-NBOMe's. You will have to go on a fantastic quest to find real LSD floating around any more. Let's just be frank, honest, and clear.
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