• Drug Misuse and Dependence Statistics in UK

    Drug misuse and dependence to illicit drugs have continuously evolved as an ongoing issue around the globe. The United Kingdom (UK), however; is one of the places where misuse of illicit drugs is rampant. In UK, illicit drugs refer to any substances that are basically controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. These illicit drugs are actually divided into three categories. Cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and Lysergic acid diethylamide LSD belongs to the classification of the most harmful drugs which is Class A. Amphetamines and cannabis are classified as class B while tranquilizers and GHB belongs to Class C.

    The prevalence of drug misuse in UK has urged the government to conduct an annual survey to monitor both its citizen. And according to the survey, these drugs are actually abused by both youngsters and adults; many have even become drug dependents.

    Drug Misuse among adults

    Using the UK drug test kits, marijuana and cocaine have been found to be the most commonly abused among the people from 16 – 5 years old, across England, Wales, and Scotland. According to the survey in 2010, cannabis is the top most abused drug consisting 6.6 percent of people while cocaine followed next, which accounts to 2.4 percent. The prevalence of drug abuse among adults in UK as of 2010 has reportedly increased from 30.5 in 1996 to 36.4 percent in 2010. Although it may be a bit of an increase, this is actually lower compared to the previous years.

    However the levels of usage remained constant. According to records, people use some other drugs like amphetamine, tranquilizers and amyl nitrite more than once a month. In fact, almost half of the people were found to be abusing cannabis frequently the month before the survey was conducted.  According to research, most of the drug addicts are consist males. Surveys shows 11.9 percent of male drug abusers compared to the 5.4 percent record of women abusers.

    Drug Misuse among Young Adults

    A survey was also administered to assess drug dependence among people with age from 16 – 24. According to research, people at this age are more prone to drug abuse. Compared to Wales and England, Scotland has lesser number of drug dependence cases among young adults. And compared to the previous year, survey shows a decreasing number of drug prevalence among young adults, although it may still look very high. According to survey, drug abuse among young adults has actually decreased 29 to 22. 6 percent last 2010.

    Young adults abuse drugs more frequently than adults. In fact, the frequency of abuse is twice as the number of times adults smoke marijuana or snort cocaine. Looking at the drug abuse among young adults more deeply, ages 10 to 24 were recorded as the most likely to be tempted with drugs. According to surveys, young adults may be abusing drugs when the start missing classes, going to school even without class, or failing at school. However, among the 39.8 percent of youngsters abusing drugs, marijuana still remained as the top most abused drugs.

    Drug Misuse among Children

    UK drug testing at schools shows that there has been a decrease on children abusing drugs. According to survey, the number of children abusing drugs have fallen down from 29 percent in 2001 to 22 percent in 2009. Cannabis is still the most commonly abused drugs among kids. According to research marijuana is either smoked or mixed with other foods as a disguise.

    The Effects of Drug Misuse in UK

    Despite the dangers illicit drug dependence can bring to health people still continue to abuse them because of its short term good effects to the body such as euphoria, feeling of relaxation, stress relief, and intense happiness.

    The bad thing about it is that, illicit drugs can actually cause tolerance. The more people use the drugs, the more they get hooked to it, thus; needing more and more drugs for each use in order to feel the same good feeling.

    Just in 2009 more than 5000 people were admitted to the hospital due to drug addiction. Patients experience the adverse effects of longer intoxication with drugs such as heart attacks, strong fever, dehydration, many more. Some also suffered from severe withdrawal symptoms due several attempts of quitting drugs.

    The number of people admitted to have suffered from mental disorder have rose to 44, 585 in 2010 from 42, 170 in 2008 and 2010. Drug testing shows, that these people have actually taken too much of the dangerous drugs to suffer is server and direct effect to the psychological features of man.

    UK Drug Testing in Schools and Workplace

    The prevalence of drug abuse and the availability of drugs in various souks have urged the government to allow drug testing in schools, workplace, and criminal justice system as well as for private purposes. Using the drug testing kits, drug testing are actually administered in the workplace during pre-employment stage, and whenever safety is at risk with drug abuse related incidents inside the office or during working hours. In schools, random drug testing is also conducted to asses drug use among kids, especially to graders and high schools who are very prone to drug abuse.

    There is no mandatory drug testing in UK though, but the availability of drug testing kits in various souks has given way to parents to assess their own children so as to give possible solutions and interventions. For private purposes, people may also check for the presence of drug substance mixed with some palatable foods and drinks at home. In this way, parent ensures safe foods for children before eating. In this case, drug testing basically follows the drug cit-off level for drug metabolites found in the result as guidelines for confirming positivity.


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