Global Drug Survey researched the drug-taking habits of 130,000 people across
44 countries. Here we take a look at some of the key findings from the survey:
The survey asked 15,000 cocaine users
from around the world whether it was quicker to get a gram of cocaine delivered
or a pizza. Overall, 30% of respondents said they could get cocaine delivered
in 30 minutes or less, compared to only 16.5% who could get a pizza delivered
in the same time.
Easy access and higher purity are
likely to lead to escalating use and harms among people.
Women under 25 years of age have
particularly poor knowledge of the health risks associated with alcohol use,
according to the 2018 Global Drug Survey.
Data shows that 65% of females under
25 polled did not know that drinking less alcohol reduces the risk of seven
different types of cancer – including mouth, upper throat, oesophageal, breast
and bowel cancers.
At the population level, alcohol was
found to be the most harmful drug when it comes to acute risk, both to the
individual themselves and those around them. Alcohol is responsible for 4% of
the world's global burden of disease and is implicated in at least 60 health
conditions, most and foremost cancer and heart disease.
& drug use
It was also revealed that of the
Australian's surveyed, 37.8% claimed they had a desire to reduce their alcohol
consumption, and 12.8% stated that they wanted help and support to reduce their
Australia ranked third highest when
it came to seeking emergency medical treatment in the last 12 months, behind
Scotland and Norway but ahead of the USA, England, New Zealand and many other
In terms of MDMA use, Australia
ranked 3rd – behind Brazil and France. However, Australia was ranked 1st for
the highest number of pills consumed on a single occasion.
Australians are also paying a lot for
their drugs. Australia ranked second most expensive for a gram of cocaine at $309
with New Zealand coming in first at $351.
problematic illicit drugs
Methamphetamine and heroin are
regarded as the most problematic of all illicit drugs with high rates of
physical and social harms. Methamphetamine is also one of the most easily manufactured,
widely distributed and cheapest stimulant drugs in the world.
According to the survey, the dark net
is an increasingly common source of illicit and licit drugs. MDMA, followed by
cannabis, LSD and new psychoactive substances (NPS) are the most commonly
purchased drugs on the dark net, with notable increases in rates for cannabis
and LSD over the last four years, however there has been a decline in NPS
The survey also found that many
people start using drugs in their late teens. For first time users of MDMA
across the globe, 61% claim that they first tried the drug with close friends
and 56.8% did not have someone to look after them during their experience.
There was a high rate (0.5%) of
emergency medical treatment linked with first time use of MDMA which, according
to the authors of the survey, highlights the importance of providing younger
people with good quality harm reduction before they start using drugs.
The study also found that the
majority of drug users surveyed did not pay for their drugs on their first
trip. Some 50% of first timers did not pay for their first dose of MDMA, 71.5%
did not pay for their first line of cocaine and 66% got their first LSD trip
Whilst many first-timers tried drugs
with close friends, many did not have someone to look after them during their
is key to harm minimisation
Professor Adam Winstock, consultant
psychiatrist, addiction medicine specialist and founder & CEO of The Global
Drug Survey commented: "Our findings suggest there is a need to engage
people who use drugs in honest conversations about drug use. Zero tolerance
approaches do not allow governments to optimise public health policies or
health promotion approaches.
"People who use drugs are
interested in their own health and wellbeing and that of their friends and
communities. We need to harness the expertise and interest of the drug using
community to help them stay safe, without ideological barriers that prevent the
adoption of evidence-based drug policies."
Sir Professor Ian Gilmore, chair of
the Alcohol Health Alliance also commented on the survey. He said: "People
just do not know about key health issues like the link between alcohol and
cancer that might well change their behaviour and improve public health."
For more findings from the 2018
Global Drug Survey visit: https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/
To learn more about some of the most
commonly used drugs affecting Australians right now, check out our A-Z Drug