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Declining Drug Use in Britain

Photo: jesus_leon

A new study finds that drug use in Britain is declining among young adults: “According to figures released by the NHS in January, based on data from the British Crime Survey, the number of adults in England and Wales who used illicit substances in 2009-10 — 8.6% — was the lowest recorded since the study began in 1996. Among 16-24-year-olds, the picture was the same, with just 20% saying they had taken drugs in the previous year — another record low, and a third lower than the proportion 15 years ago.” That said, hospital admissions for drug-poisoning rose 4.8 percent last year, and drug-related deaths may also be rising. One expert thinks alcohol may be to blame: “We’re certainly getting more alcohol deaths [even as overall alcohol consumption falls],” says David Nutt of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. “So binge-drinking as an alternative to taking other drugs, I think, is probably still happening. But also a culture of bingeing, of getting out of your head and taking lots of drugs, may also be contributing to deaths.” (HT: Alex Jazayeri)