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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Drug Use Report 2015

Published: 25 Oct 2016
Part of:
Health and social care
ISBN:
9781786525291

This report presents the drugs findings from the 2015 wave of the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

63 page PDF

3.4MB

63 page PDF

3.4MB

Contents
Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Drug Use Report 2015
4 Attitudes to drug use

63 page PDF

3.4MB

4 Attitudes to drug use

Views on the acceptability of trying cannabis, cocaine and sniffing glue

Cannabis

Almost a quarter (24%) of 15 year olds thought that it was "ok" for someone of their age to try cannabis, while only 5% of 13 year olds thought this.

Among 15 year olds, the acceptability of trying cannabis has increased since 2013 (when 18% thought it was "ok"). There have been no statistically significant changes among 13 year olds.

Among both age groups, boys were more likely than girls to think that trying cannabis was acceptable (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1 Acceptability of trying cannabis (2006-2015)

Q. Do you think it is ok for someone your age to try cannabis to see what it is like?

Figure 4.1 Acceptability of trying cannabis (2006-2015)

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Cocaine

Only 2% of 13 year olds thought it was "ok" for someone of their age to try cocaine, while 6% of 15 year olds thought this was acceptable.

There have been no statistically significant changes over time.

There were no statistically significant differences by gender (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.2 Acceptability of trying cocaine (2006-2015)

Q. Do you think it is ok for someone your age to try cocaine to see what it is like?

Figure 4.2 Acceptability of trying cocaine (2006-2015)

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Sniffing Glue

6% of 13 year olds and 7% of 15 year olds thought that it was "ok" for someone their age to try sniffing glue.

There have been no statistically significant changes over time and there were also no statistically significant differences by gender (Figure 4.3).

Figure 4.3 Acceptability of trying glue sniffing

Q. Do you think it is ok for someone your age to try sniffing glue to see what it is like?

Figure 4.3 Acceptability of trying glue sniffing

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Perceptions of the risks of drug use

Pupils were most likely to think that the following statements about drugs were true: "taking cocaine is dangerous", "heroin is addictive" and "inhaling or sniffing solvents can cause brain damage".

For all but one of the statements, 15 year olds were more likely than 13 year olds to say that they were true. Thirteen year olds were also more likely to answer "don't know" to all statements.

The only statement thought to be "true" by a higher proportion of 13 year olds than 15 year olds was "taking cannabis is dangerous." A quarter of 15 year olds stated that this was "false" (a much higher proportion than for any other statement).

Figure 4.4 Pupils' perceptions of the risks of taking drugs, by age (2015)

Q. Please read the following statements about drugs and say if you think they are true or false.

Figure 4.4 Pupils' perceptions of the risks of taking drugs, by age (2015)

Base: all 13 year olds (13,607), all 15 year olds (11,697)

Pupils' perceptions of the risks of taking drugs also varied depending on their drug use status. Pupils who had reported never using drugs were more likely than those who had used drugs within the last month to state they "don't know" to all statements (Figure 4.5).

A higher proportion of recent users than those who have never used drugs, answered "true" to most statements. However, a much higher proportion (66%) compared with those who had never used drugs (17%) answered "false" to "taking cannabis is dangerous" (Figure 4.5). This is likely to reflect the fact that cannabis was the most commonly used drug among those who had used drugs in the last month.

Figure 4.5 15 year old pupils' perceptions of the risks of taking drugs, by own drug use (2015)

Q. Please read the following statements about drugs and say if you think they are true or false.

Figure 4.5 15 year old pupils' perceptions of the risks of taking drugs, by own drug use (2015)

Base: 15 year old pupils who have used drugs in the last month (1,188), 15 year olds pupils who have never used drugs (9,186)

The proportion of pupils answering "don't know" to statements has tended to increase over time, particularly since 2010 (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6 15 year olds who "don't know" if statements are true or false, (2006 to 2015)

Q. Please read the following statements about drugs and say if you think they are true or false.

Figure 4.6 15 year olds who 'don't know' if statements are true or false, (2006 to 2015)

Base: all 15 year olds (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Attitudes to drug taking

The majority of pupils agreed with the statements "people my age who take drugs need help and advice", "all people who take drugs should be punished" and "people who take drugs are stupid". The majority disagreed that "it's OK for people to take legal highs" and "taking drugs is exciting" (Figure 4.7).

Some of the attitudes have seen a statistically significant change since 2013. The proportion of 15 year olds agreeing that "all people who sell drugs should be punished" has declined from 59% in 2013 to 48% in 2015. Similarly, the proportion of 15 year olds agreeing "people who take drugs are stupid" has decreased from 56% in 2013 to 50% in 2015. Trends among 13 year olds were similar.

Thirteen year olds had more negative attitudes towards drug taking than 15 year olds.

Figure 4.7 Proportion of pupils agreeing with attitudes to drug taking statements, by age (2015)

Q. Please read the following statements and say if you agree or disagree.

Figure 4.7 Proportion of pupils agreeing with attitudes to drug taking statements, by age (2015)

Base: all 13 year olds (12,720), all 15 year olds (11,028)

Pupils' attitudes towards drug taking varied greatly depending on their drug use status. Those who have never used drugs had much more negative views than those who have used drugs within the last month (Figure 4.8).

Figure 4.8 15 year old pupils' attitudes to drug taking by drug use status (2015)

Q. Please read the following statements and say if you agree or disagree

Figure 4.8 15 year old pupils' attitudes to drug taking by drug use status (2015)

Base: 15 year old pupils who have used drugs in the last month (1,188), 15 year olds pupils who have never used drugs (9,186)


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