Global Drug Survey

The Global Drug Survey (GDS) is an anonymised, online survey based on a detailed questionnaire to assess trends in drug use and self-reported harms among regular drug users and early adopters of new trends.

The survey which encompassed nearly 1,00,000 respondents from 30 countries on recreational drug use for the first time polled respondents from India.

Findings of the Survey

  • Apart from Alcohol and tobacco the most used drugs globally were cannabis, MDMA (or Ecstacy), cocaine, amphetamines, LSD (or ‘acid’), magic mushrooms, benzodiazepines, prescription opioids, ketamine, nitrous oxide.
  • The most common stimulants used by Indians are Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis.
  • Indians reported ‘being drunk’ on an average of 41 times in the last 12 months behind the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia and Denmark and it was well above the global average of 33 times.
  • Indians more than any those from other nationalities are seeking help to reduce their alcohol intake.
  • 51% of the respondents wanted to ‘drink less’ in the following year and 41% ‘wanted help to do so. This may genuinely reflect high levels of concern among drinkers of being aware of consuming at levels known to be harmful
  • About 6% of the female Indians surveyed reported seeking ’emergency medical treatment’ in the last 12 months while the global female average was about 13%.
  • None of the male respondents from India reported seeking medical treatment, compared to the global average of 12%.
  • 43% of about 250 Indians surveyed reported using cannabis and 44% of them said they sourced it from ‘known dealers’, 21% said they got their fix from friends.
  • Indians ‘enjoyed being drunk’ on 71% of the occasions — close to the global average of 74%.
  • Even though only 2% sought emergency medical treatment after using cannabis, similar to alcohol use 51% said they wanted to use ‘less cannabis’ in the following year.

The survey was aimed to throw light on stigmatised behaviours and health outcomes of a hidden population that is otherwise difficult to reach so the necessary interventions could be designed and it was not aimed at determining the prevalence of drug behaviour in a population.

Global Drug Survey

The survey was undertaken by Global Drug Survey which is an independent research company based in London. It uses its data and expertise to create digital health applications delivering screening and brief interventions for drugs and alcohol.

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