Revisions and Corrections: During the quality assurance process in advance of publication of the SCJS 2014/15 Drug Use report, a small number of relatively minor errors were found in previous iterations of the report. These involve:
the classification of amphetamines in the 2012/13 report and published data tables;
some minor inaccuracies in the valuesin annex data tables in the 2012/13 report for amphetamines, crack, cannabis, anabolic steroids and tranquilisers;
description of the base sizes for the analysis of the experiences of those using drugs in some instances in the 2012/13 report; and
the placement of crystal meth within annex data tables in each report since 2008/09.
The 2014/15 SCJS Drug Use report corrects each of these points and should be used for time series data on SCJS Drug Use. Further details are available on the SCJS Corrections and Revisions Page
The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) is a large-scale survey measuring people’s experience and perceptions of crime in Scotland. This report specifically examines the findings from the self-completion questionnaire on illicit drug use in Scotland. The report examines self-reported illicit drug use by adults aged over 16 using three time periods: in the last month, in the last year and ever.
The SCJS 2012-13 drugs module data tables are being formatted for publication, the week commencing 30 June 2014.
The main findings are:
Prevalence of illicit drug use in Scotland
• Drug use in Scotland has decreased statistically significantly between 2008/09 and 2012/13. 6.2% of adults reported using any drug in the last year in 2012/13 compared with 6.6% in 2010/11, 7.2% in 2009/10 and 7.6% in 2008/09.
• There has been statistically significant decrease in reported use of Class A and Class B drugs (-0.8 and -1.1 percentage points respectively) in the last year between 2008/09 and 2012/13.
• There has been a statistically significant decrease in adults reporting use of cannabis and cocaine (-1.1 and -1.0 percentage points respectively) in the last year between 2008/09 and 2012/13.
• Young people (aged 16-24) have the highest reported illicit drug use for all three time periods. However, there has been a statistically significant decrease in reported use of illicit drugs in the last year by 16-24 year olds, from 23.5% in 2008/09 to 16.4% in 2012/13.
• 0.5% of adults reported having taken any ‘new drugs’ in the last year. Mephedrone use in the last year has decreased from 0.7% in 2011/12 to 0.4% in 2012/13. However, this finding should be treated with caution due to the very small number of respondents involved.
The experiences of adults reporting illicit drug use in Scotland
• Cannabis is the most frequently used drug in the last year and the last month, with 75.9% of adults who had used illicit drugs in the last month reporting the use of cannabis.
• Around a quarter of adults (23.2%) who had used drugs in the last month said that they felt dependent on the drug they used most often.
• Of the 3% of respondents who reported using drugs in the last month, the majority of adults said that it was very easy (45.4%) or fairly easy (39%) to get hold of the drug used most often in the last month.
• Over half of adults (54.1%) who had taken more than one illicit drug in the last year, said that they had taken different drugs at the same time in the last year, and around three out of five adults (64.2%) reported that they had consumed alcohol at the same time as taking drugs in the last year.
• A comparison with the Crime Survey for England and Wales (2012/13), for those aged 16-59 only, shows that reported drug use in the last year was similar in Scotland (8.5%) to England and Wales (8.2%).