To help inform my decision on who my project will be aimed at, I’ll be looking at some research and data that hopefully help identify the target group/population that seem to be mostly affected by drugs, psychedelics and those that seem to be associated with/best suited for my abstract and goals for the project. I feel that I want to target the young, 18 to 25/30, as this group of people are those that are seeking new experiences and are under going stress and pressures, all of which, may lead them to trying drugs. Adults from the 60s/70s will mostly likely also be involved in some drug use, if at least not now but in the past. This group would be aged be 40 and 60 years olds (at this current time). For those that fall in between or outside of these categories, I feel that something useful can still be gained from this experience I’m planning to create as it not necessarily all about the drugs but also about questioning reality too – something of which everyone could get involved with. At this point, I would say that the potential content for project may not be appropriate for an audience under the age of 10 as they may not understand the content being present and, mainly, the theme of drugs (as long as it is minimal in terms of reference) would likely be given a rating of Teen, if not Everyone 10+ (at the very least). Until I have chosen a specific story to run, I won’t know the minimum age that this project can target.
Drug use is highest among people in their late teens and twenties. In 2013, 22.6 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds reported using an illicit drug in the past month.
The underlying trend is towards greater liberalisation (only 18% felt the laws needed to be more liberal in 2008), but as things stand there’s a balance, with more younger people wanting reform and more older people wanting stricter controls, and the half in the middle content with what we’ve got. Our survey shows 33% of those aged between 16 and 24 said drug laws were not liberal enough, and 40% of those aged 65 and over said drug laws were too liberal.
To some extent, drug policy in this country seeks to cater to all those groups – on the one hand talking tough; on the other often turning a blind eye, and the main body of policing targeting “problem” drug users. It’s not a picture that suggests radical change is afoot.
Yet it’s striking that as many as 84% of Britons don’t believe that the “war on drugs” can ever be won. If that’s the case, you might think, then why is there not more support for policies that reject this failed strategy? The answer is probably that “war” is a misleading metaphor for combating drugs. As cultural critic and former prison doctor Theodore Dalrymple has put it: “Saying the war against drugs is unwinnable is like saying the war against burglary is unwinnable and we should open our doors. Absurd. War is the wrong word.”
- Shows example of the divide between young and old
- War on drug failure
More than 15 million Britons, nearly one in three of the adult population, have taken illegal drugs and the proportion of the nation who have ever taken drugs is increasing over time; when the Observer last conducted research into national drug usage and attitudes in 2008, 27% of the population had taken illegal drugs. That figure has now increased to 31%. Last time round we noted that, while men were more likely than women to take drugs, the gender gap appeared to be closing, based on a comparison between 2008 and 2002 data. That process is now complete, with both sexes equally likely to have taken drugs. Thirty-one per cent of those currently aged 16-24 have taken drugs but 35- 44-year-olds have been the biggest users of drugs with nearly half (47%) of this age group having taken them. Regionally, rates of drug taking peak in Scotland, where 35% have taken drugs.
Among those who have ever taken drugs, it is a minority (21%) who continue to do so, approximately 3 million people. The profile of those currently taking drugs is weighted towards younger Britons, with half of active users aged 16-34. In contrast to the stereotype of the drug user, many active drug takers are in the higher echelons of society, with 40% being in social grades AB.
Drug taking is widespread and on the rise but, for the majority, it does not constitute a problem; 87% of those who have taken drugs do not believe they have ever had a problem with them. However, 13% of drug users believe they have had a problem, the equivalent of approximately 2 million people. Nearly half of those have subsequently managed to break the habit and no longer use, but there are approximately 1 million Britons who have had a problem with drugs (31% of current users) and still use them. Male drug users are twice as likely as women to develop a problem at some stage (18% and 9% respectively). While drug taking is most common in Scotland, it is users in London and the south-east who are most likely to develop a problem (21%). Younger users are also more likely to believe they have had a problem; 15% of 16-24s and 25% of 25-34s.
- Age range most mentioned – 16 to 24
Statistics on Drug Misuse
Drug misuse related hospital admissions
- In 2014/15, there were 8,149 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug related mental health and behavioural disorders. This is 14% more than 2013/14 but only 4% higher than 2004/05.
- There were 14,279 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of poisoning by illicit drugs. This is 2% more than 2013/14 and 57% more than 2004/05.
Deaths related to drug misuse (England and Wales)
- In 2014 there were 2,248 deaths which were related to drug misuse. This is an increase of 15% on 2013 and 44% higher than 2004.
- Deaths related to drug misuse are at their highest level since comparable records began in 1993.
Drug use among adults (England and Wales)
- In 2015/16, around 1 in 12 (8.4%) adults aged 16 to 59 had taken an illicit drug in the last year. This equates to around 2.7 million people.
- This level of drug use was similar to the 2014/15 survey (8.6%), but is significantly lower than a decade ago (10.5% in the 2005/06 survey).
Drug use among children (England)
- In 2014, 15% of pupils had ever taken drugs, 10% had taken drugs in the last year and 6% had taken drugs in the last month.
- The prevalence of drug use increased with age. For example, 6% of 11 year olds said they had tried drugs at least once, compared with 24% of 15 year olds.
- Last couple lines are shocking, things like this aren’t heard of – although I can understand how this might occur e.g. if the parent/guardian is a substance abuser, the child may gain access to and consume such substances whilst the parent is experiencing euphoria/under the influence and not supervising/neglecting the child (safeguarding).
World Drug Report
What is the impact on society
One of the key impacts of illicit drug use on society is the negative health consequences experienced by its members. Drug use also puts a heavy financial burden on society. Expressed in monetary terms, some US$ 200 billion-250 billion (0.3-0.4 per cent of global GDP) would be needed to cover all costs related to drug treatment worldwide. In reality, the actual amounts spent on treatment for drug abuse are far lower — and less than one in five persons who eeds such treatment actually receives it. The impact of illicit drug use on a society’s productivity — in monetary terms — seems to be even larger.
A study in the United States suggested that productivity losses were equivalent to .9 per cent of GDP, and studies in several other countries showed losses equivalent to 0.3-0.4 per cent of GDP. The costs associated with drug-related crime are also substantial.
In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a study suggested that the costs associated with drug-related crime (fraud, burglary, robbery and shoplifting) in England and Wales were equivalent to 1.6 per cent of GDP, or 90 per cent of all the economic and social costs related to drug abuse.
The continuing emergence of new psychoactive substances
The ATS market has always been characterized by a large variety of substances and, in recent years, the market for new psychoactive substances has evolved rapidly. Unprecedented numbers and varieties of new psychoactive substances, often sold as “bath salts”, “legal highs” or “plant food”, are appearing on the market. These psychoactive substances, which include piperazines such as BZP or m-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP), as well as analogues of methcathinone such as 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC, known as mephedrone) or MDPV, mimic the effects of stimulants such as “ecstasy” and amphetamines.
- Average age range of around 15 – 65 seems to be the ‘target audience/age of interest’ in a majority these studies and reports – is this because this is the group that is mostly likely to use drugs?