Global Drug Survey Addresses the Changing Face of Drug Markets
Today marks the launch of this year’s Global Drug Survey. The largest independent survey of its type in the world, the Global Drug Survey collects information about drugs from people who use drugs, from right across the globe. Last year’s Global Drug Survey received over 15, 000 responses. This year the Global Drug Survey Team along with its media partners are aiming to collect over 50,000 responses.
The survey canvases a range of topics, many of which are very pertinent to the changing face of drug markets across the globe.
The same innovations that have radically changed the way that we communicate in the past decade are also beginning to change the way that illicit drug interactions are undertaken. Amongst the more traditional questions establishing prevalence and patterns of drug use, the Global Drug Survey also collects information about respondents’ experiences of utilising the Silk Road website to purchase drugs. There has been some small amount of media attention on Silk Road, a website often described as the e-Bay of drugs, in recent months. While there is some uncertainty regarding the significance of Silk Road and its potential impact upon drug markets, one thing is a certainty, further study of the implications of such a site are very much needed.
Another topic area of very real relevance is that of emerging drugs. In recent years, the emergence of so called ‘legal highs’ and ‘research chemicals’ have also received much in the way of (sometimes erroneous) media reporting. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) 2012 Annual Report the emergence of new substances marketed for recreational use is accelerating in Europe with 164 new substances formally identified in Europe between 2005 and 2011. Again keeping abreast of the changing face of the drug market is an important piece of the puzzle for harm reduction workers seeking to reduce the potential harms faced by the people who use these substances.
The two most compelling reasons however to take part in this year’s Global Drug Survey has nothing to do with my fascination with the changing face of drug markets. You see the Global Drug Survey is not just an opportunity to collect data about patterns and prevalence of drug use. The survey is also an opportunity for you to have your say on drug policy. Secondly, the information that you enter into the survey could potentially be used to inform decisions about future harm reduction strategies and initiatives. Think on that for a second. The information you provide could potentially help save a life.
Click here to complete the Global Drug Survey
And while you’re at it you might also want to check out Drugs Meter, a unique tool that allows you to compare your drug use with other people of similar age and locality.