The Home Office’s publication of the annual drug statistics from the British Crime Survey is the subject of widespread media attention.
The Guardian (x2) report:
British Crime Survey statistics showed that the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds using cannabis slumped from 28% a decade ago to 21% now, with its declining popularity accelerating after the decision to downgrade the drug to class C was announced in January 2004.
They also have a leading article:
Though real, these risks [mental and physical health] need to be stated calmly. Scaremongering stories are so at odds with most users’ experience that they have actually encouraged the misguided belief among much of the middle class that dope is entirely benign: a Rowntree study last week showed youth professionals are less alert to the dangers than heavy cannabis smokers they work with.
The Telegraph takes a different tack:
The proportion of young adults taking cocaine has almost doubled under Labour, intensifying pressure on Gordon Brown to toughen up its drugs policy.
Figures from the Home Office’s British Crime Survey showed the number of 16 to 24-year-olds in England and Wales who admitted taking cocaine in the previous year increased from 3.2 per cent in 1998 to 6.1 per cent in 2006/07.
The Metro follows suit:
One in four young people tried illegal drugs including cocaine, a shocking new report reveals.
The most popular drug with 16 to 24-year-olds was cannabis – with more than 1.3million smoking the drug.
The Times makes similar points to other papers but also points to the methodological issues that the survey has:
The BCS admitted that it was likely to underestimate the overall use of heroin and crack and it did not interview people who were under 16.
Separate figures published yesterday on drug seizures in 2005 showed the impact of the policy to confiscate and warn people who are found with small amounts of cannabis. The number of cannabis seizures rose by 47 per cent to 114,202.
The BBC meanwhile point out that the survey is based on talking with 5,786 young people aged between 16 and 24.
It’s also in The Independent.
Filed under: british crime survey, Drug Misuse Declared:British Crime Survey, drug use in UK