Between 25th March and 1st April 2010, 604 young people aged 16 to 25 from the UK completed a survey conducted by YouthNet called ‘High or dry.’ The survey asked them about their experience and awareness of drugs, as well as their attitudes towards drug information, advice and education.
The survey found that drug use remains highly prevalent amongst young people and that drugs continue to negatively affect the lives of a significant proportion of both users and non-users.
It also found that there is a desire and need amongst those surveyed for further drug-related information and advice for young people. The internet was shown to be the first point of call for many when it comes to seeking drug-related information.
- Almost two thirds (63%) of respondents had personally taken a recreational drug, excluding alcohol, nicotine or caffeine.
- Male respondents were significantly more likely than female respondents to have taken recreational drugs (72% compared with 56%).
- 53% said that many of their friends ‘take drugs regularly’.
- Eight in ten (80%) were aware of cannabis and the same proportion had heard of amphetamines. 77% aware of cocaine, 76% aware of ecstasy, 74% aware of crack cocaine, 74% aware of heroin.
- Three in ten (30%) had tried cannabis and two in ten (19%) used the drug at least once a month.
- Half (49%) of those who had taken recreational drugs had done so for the first time before they were 16 years old; 41% were between the ages of 13 and 15 and 9% were 12 years old or younger.
- Respondents were most likely to have initially tried drugs at a friend’s house, but those who take drugs regularly were most likely to do so at home.
- Drugs had negatively affected many aspects of respondents’ lives: 52% in their relationships with friends, 47% in their romantic relationships and 45% with their mental health.
- Six in ten (57%) had used online sources of drug-related information or advice, and 47% and 36% respectively had spoken to their friends or parents about drugs.
- (62%) were aware of, and four in ten (43%) had used, the Drink and Drugs section of TheSite.org