Global Drug Survey Looking for Participants

By Paul Gaita 11/21/14

As they do every year, the independent research group is looking to cull drug and alcohol use data for its 2015 survey.

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The Global Drug Survey (GDS), an independent research organization that gathers data on international drug use, is calling for participants from around the globe to submit information about their own substance use for the 2015 edition of their survey.

More than 30,000 people have completed the list of questions so far, and the GDS hopes to ultimately receive data from 120,000 individuals. The information they publish will help to provide a broader picture of global drug use trends. Last year’s survey findings showed a marked increase in drug purchases through the Internet, with nearly one-fifth of all U.S. respondents stating that they had done so in 2012 or 2013. The highest rate of online drug purchases came from the United Kingdom, with 22.1% of the 1,500 participants hailing from that country, and 20.5% of that group originating from Scotland.

Other key data culled from the 2014 GDS: alcohol remained the most consistent drug of choice over a 12-month period, ranking nearly 40% higher than the second most popular drug, tobacco, and more than twice as frequently used as cannabis. MDMA showed substantial gains among participants, with 36% of drug users stating that they used it within a 12-month period.

Perhaps the most alarming data culled by the 2014 GDS was the number of individuals who qualified as either “problem drinkers or at risk of becoming dependent,” or 7% or participants, as defined by the World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), but who described themselves drinking below the average amount.

Equally dismaying was the fact that one in five drug users stated that they had been taken advantage of sexually after either alcohol or drug use, with 14% of those respondents saying that they had been given substances by someone whom they believed had the intention of taking advantage of them sexually, and 2.4% stating that they had engaged in sexual intercourse without giving their consent as a result of having been unwittingly drugged by another person.

Click here to take the survey.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.