The Guardian, along with a range of media partners across the globe, is supporting the survey, which asks participants about what drugs they use, why they take them and how often, and what the social, medical and legal consequences of their drug use are.
Drugs covered by the survey include cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, ketamine, mephedrone, alcohol, tobacco, “legal highs” and prescription medicines such as temazepam, Viagra and opioid painkillers.
The 2013 survey, which is online and takes about 20 minutes to complete, is anonymised and confidential. It is conducted by Global Drug Survey (GDS), an independent, self-funded data mapping agency.
New areas of research in this year’s survey include:
• Drugs and sex: who uses what drugs for sex, and how do different drugs affect sexual performance?
• Drugs and violence: to what extent does drug taking contribute to violent behaviour, and which drugs are most likely to trigger it?
• Drugs and pleasure: using a specially designed tool called the Net Pleasure Index (developed with the help of Prof David Nutt) we aim to find out which drugs are associated with the best pleasure/harm ratio, and what level of drug use seems to strike the best balance of pleasure and harm.
• Drugs policy: how would changes in drug policy affect your drug taking?
• Prescription drug use: who uses prescription drugs, and where do they get them?
• Drug trends: which drugs are the most popular, how much do they cost and what’s new?
The 2013 survey will be open until late December. The results will be published next March by the Guardian, and the survey’s other media partners: NBC in the US; Fairfax Media in Australia and New Zealand; and in the UK, Mixmag and Gay Times.
GDS, which was created by Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and researcher based in London, also runs the drugs meter app which enables users to compare their drug use against that of thousands of other people across the globe.
Full Guardian coverage of last year’s drug survey can be found here.
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