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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Drug Use

Published: 28 Jun 2016
ISBN:
9781786522689

This report presents findings on illicit drug use from the self-completion module of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey. It provides data and analysis on drug use in the last month, in the last year and ever among adults aged sixteen and over in Scotla

70 page PDF

1.7MB

70 page PDF

1.7MB

Contents
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15: Drug Use
Executive Summary

70 page PDF

1.7MB

Executive Summary

This summary reports the main findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2014/15 on illicit drug use.

Prevalence of drug use in Scotland

  • 6.0% of adults reported having used one or more illicit drugs in the last year. There has been a decline in self-reported drug use in the last year between the SCJS 2008/09 and 2014/15 (7.6% in the 2008/09 survey).
  • Reported drug use has fallen for both females and males between 2008/09 and 2014/15, with a decrease in reported illicit drug use in the last year from 11.1% in comparison to 8.9% amongst men, and a decrease from 4.3% to 3.4% amongst women.
  • In 2014/15, 2.6% of adults reported use of Class A drugs, 5.2% reported use of Class B drugs and 0.5% reported use of Class C drugs in the last year.
  • There has been a decline in reported use in the last year of Class A, Class B and Class C drugs between 2008/09 and 2014/15.
  • As in the SCJS 2012/13, cannabis is the most commonly used drug with 5.0% of adults reporting use in the last year, however this has fallen from 6.2% in the 2008/09 survey.
  • Self-reported illicit drug use varies significantly by age, gender, socioeconomic classification, area deprivation and victim status; higher levels of drug use are found in younger age groups, men, those working in routine/manual professions, those living in deprived areas and those who are victims of crime.
  • 8.9% of adults reported that someone had offered to give or sell them at least one type of illicit drug in the last year. There has been a decline in those reporting being offered drugs in the last year between the SCJS 2008/09 and 2014/15 (13.7% in the 2008/09 survey). For the younger age groups, there has been a decline in 16-24 year-olds and 25-44 year-olds reporting being offered an illicit drug in the last year between the SCJS 2008/09 and 2014/15 (from 41.4% to 27.5% of 16-24 year-olds and from 18.1% to 11.9% of 25-44 year-olds).
  • An estimated 1.6% of adults reported that they had taken substances sold as 'legal highs' at some point in their lives. Use of legal highs was higher amongst younger age groups, with 4.1% of 16-24 year-olds reporting having ever used 'legal highs', compared with 2.7% of 25-44 year-olds and 0.5% of 45-59 year-olds.

The experiences of adults reporting drug use in Scotland

  • Amongst those who reported drug use in the last year, eight in ten (80.7%) said that they had used cannabis; 29.3% said they had used cocaine and 21.7% said they had used ecstasy.
  • Of adults reporting taking more than one drug in the last year, half (50.6%) reported that they had taken different drugs together at the same time in the last year.
  • Of adults who reported using drugs in the last year, nearly two thirds (64.8%) reported that they had consumed alcohol at the same time as taking drugs in the last year.
  • The most common age for first trying drugs was the late teens (16-19 year-olds). Similarly to the SCJS 2012/13, the majority of adults who had ever taken drugs reported that their first drug used was cannabis (77.8%).
  • Of those reporting having used drugs in the last month:
  • Four in ten adults (40.5%) reported using their most frequently used drug once or twice a month and just under one in five adults (18.8%) reported using their most frequently used drug on an almost daily basis.
    • There has been a decline between 2012/13 and 2014/15 in those reporting that they used their most frequently used drug 'every day or almost every day', from 30.2% to 18.8%.
    • The majority said that it was either very easy (40.5%) or fairly easy (43.4%) to get hold of their most often used drug.
    • The majority of respondents (82.5%) said that they did not feel they were dependent upon the drug they used most often in the last month.
    • Feeling dependent on the drug taken most often varied by area deprivation (based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation [1] ) with 31.3% of adults feeling dependent on their drug taken most often in the last month living in the 15% most deprived areas in Scotland, compared to 11.9% of adults in the rest of Scotland.

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