Drug Misuse Declared in Britain in 1994This survey was carried out among a representative sample of 10,000 people aged 16-59 in England and Wales in 1994 for the Home Office as part of their bi-annual British Crime Survey. The statistics were obtained by respondents sitting in front of laptops, where their answers could not be seen by others. A bogus drug name was included to catch out over reporting, and only one person claimed to be a user of it. The survey team believe that slight under reporting is probable as is known to be the case with alcohol use. The results were published in August 1996.
Two surprising facts emerge. The use of Ecstasy is lower than generally estimated, and the use of magic mushrooms is higher. More than twice as many people (nearly two million) had tried magic mushrooms than Ecstasy, and nearly as many regular mushroom users (as many young men users, but fewer young women).
EcstasyThe results show that the regular* use of Ecstasy is 1% of those under 30 and less than half a percent of older people. Overall, 2% had tried Ecstasy but were not regular users.
Applying these percentages to the population, this implies:
There are 121,000 are regular users and 728,000 more have tried it. The report says the margins of error are such that the maximum number of users is 177,000 regular and 848,000 ever.
LSDThere are 152,000 are regular users and 1,334,000 more have tried it. The report says the margins of error are such that the maximum number of users is 212,000 regular and 1,492,000 ever.
AmphetamineThere are 303,000 are regular users and 2,486,000 more have tried it. The report says the margins of error are such that the maximum number of users is 385,000 regular and 2,696,000 ever.
*Those who said they had used it in the past month were regarded as regular users.
©Nicholas Saunders, September 1996