Time Out London, the magazine that covers issues relevant to today’s London residents has recently carried out the London Drugs Survey to get an idea of what the current situation is with drugs there. The refreshing thing about this survey is that it is accessible to everyday people; it has not made so scientific that those of us out there without a PhD in Astrophysics struggle to comprehend it.
London is well known for being one of the places where the latest drugs trends start, so it was interesting to take a look at the top four drugs currently being used in London according to this survey. The survey asked a selection of readers which of drugs they had tried from a list of substances. Of course this is going to be skewed by selection bias – it may be argued that Time Out London readers only represent a certain demographic and so do not provide an accurate representation of the rest of the London population. It may also be argued that the nature of asking participants to be honest about their drug use could leave to results that are not entirely accurate. However, the fact is this is not meant to be a scientific study, it is purely giving London residents an opportunity to have a voice without a political motive influencing the data obtained.
So what were the results?
According to the survey, 90% of respondents had tried cannabis. Personally, this didn’t surprise me – through the course of my work with Addiction Helper I have found that people tend to have the most relaxed views when it comes to cannabis. Considering the potential for drug induced psychosis this is a little worrying, but that’s a story for another day!
The second most commonly used substance was ecstasy, a substance made popular in the late 80s upon the arrival of the rave scene, and a popular drug among clubbers today. Interesting to note here that 70% of Time Out London’s readers said they had used ecstasy, compared to only 2.2% of Londoners who said they had in the London Crime Survey conducted in 2012!
In at number three was cocaine with 62% of readers admitting to having tried it. I was probably shocked this didn’t come in higher to be honest – for those who can afford it, it is often the drug of choice. Celebs, athletes and professionals have a strong “cocaine culture” – and I have spoken to people who have felt under pressure to conform, rather than being the weird outsider that doesn’t do coke.
And finally we have Amphetamines with 45% saying they had tried it before. The increased stamina provide by amphetamines means it is used for prolonged performance, whether that is on the sports field or pulling an overnight shift. It is also a cheaper alternative to cocaine at between £8-£13 a gram on average.
So there you have it, a snapshot of the drugs the London Drugs Survey is suggesting are most popular in the capital. What do you think? Is this an accurate interpretation? What are your experiences of drug culture in London? Participate in addiction discussion events to show your support or position.
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