Publication - Research and analysis

2010/11 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey: Drug Use

Published: 27 Mar 2012
Part of:

This report presents findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2010/11 Drug Use module. The report provides information on the experience and prevalence of illicit drug use amongst the general adult population in Scotland.

83 page PDF

1.0 MB

83 page PDF

1.0 MB

2010/11 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey: Drug Use

83 page PDF

1.0 MB


1. The SPSS variable name is also often the question name.

2. The SCJS 2010/11 Main Findings report and related publications are available on the 'publications' section of the Scottish Government website: The SCJS also has a dedicated website:

3. The UK Data Archive's website is at:

4. While drugs such as valium or temazepam were included in the list of drugs asked about in the questionnaire, the question wording emphasised that only details of drugs not given on prescription were of interest.

5. See the Scottish Government website:

6. Available from the Scottish Government website:

7. The Technical Report is available from the Scottish Government website:

8. The SCJS does not collect details of whether amphetamine was prepared for injection or in powdered form. As injection as a method of taking drugs ever reported in the SCJS 2010/11 was relatively rare, all self-reported amphetamine use is included in Class B in the analysis that follows.

9. As interviewing for the SCJS 2010/11 was continuous over the course of 10 months from June 2010 to the end of March 2011, the reported measure of 'in the last year' covers a 12 month period which varies according to the date of the interview. More information on the survey 'reference period' is available in the Technical Report:

10. In the BCS 2010/11 drug use questions were asked of 16-59 year olds only. Comparisons of SCJS results with the BCS therefore are made between 16-59 year olds only (section 1.6. See the Technical Report for further details:

11. Section 1.5 provides further details of the use of these time periods.

12. Section 1.4 provides details of the drugs that are included in the composite groups and Classes of drugs.

13. Prevalence of opiate use is particularly prone to under-estimation due to its association with problematic drug use (section 1.3). Alternative studies are used to estimate problem opiate (and/or benzodiazepine) use in Scotland (ISD Scotland, 2011).

14. The percentage reporting use of crystal meth in the last year and both crystal meth and anabolic steroids in the last month was less than 0.05%.

15. Less than 0.05% reported having used crystal meth in the last year and this is not shown in Figure 2.5.

16. Less than 0.05% of adults aged 16 or over reported having used anabolic steroids or glues, solvents, gas or aerosols in the last month and these are not shown in Figure 2.6. No respondents reported having used crystal meth in the last month.

17. Less than 0.3% of adults reported, in the SCJS 2010/11 using the remaining drugs during the last year and these are not shown in Figure 2.7.

18. Tables A1.5, A1.8 and A1.11 in Annex 1 provide base sizes for all age ranges for adults, men and women respectively.

19. Statistical modelling would identify the main factors associated with drug use and others where association arises through links to these main factors. For example, housing tenure appears to be associated with levels of drug use. However, we know that both drug use and housing tenure are partly associated statistically with age, rural / urban location and levels of deprivation. It may be that the apparent association between tenure and drug use is actually a reflection of these other characteristics, rather than a direct association between the two. Statistical modelling would be able to confirm or disprove this.

20. Further details of NS-SEC coding can be found on the ONS website:

21. Area deprivation is measured by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation:

22. Details of the 2007-2008 Scottish Government urban rural Classification used in this survey can be found at:

23. Adults categorised as not working or long term unemployed included those who were retired from paid work (QD1EMP).

24. Other individual drugs were offered to less than 4% of adults and are not shown.

25. Adults categorised as not working or long term unemployed included those who were retired from paid work (QD1EMP).

26. Where only one drug was used in the last month this was included in the analysis that follows.

27. In the discussion that follows it should be noted that the two questions were asked only of the drug the respondent had used most often in the last month (including the only drug taken in the last month). Where a respondent had used more than one drug in the last month, it is possible that they may have felt dependent or tried to cut down on another drug they had used in the last month. If this was the case, the percentages reported in this section would increase had data been collected on this.

28. As the percentages shown are based on all those using illicit drugs in the last month, the relative size of results for individual drugs reflect the relative size of drug use overall, including the dominance of cannabis.

29. All other drugs were mentioned by fewer than 20% of adults who had ever mixed any drug with the drug they used most often in the last month, and are not shown in Figure 3.5.

30. Less than 0.05% of those who had ever used at least one illicit drug reported crack, methadone or crystal meth as the first drug they used and this is not shown in Figure 3.8.

31. 45 respondents said they had ever injected drugs and, as a result, further information about their characteristics or drug use is not provided as the SCJS 2010/11 follows accepted practice in social surveys of not reporting variables with a base size below 50.

32. Both reports are available from the Scottish Government survey website:

33. Data described in this paragraph are unweighted.

34. The SCJS questionnaire is available from the Scottish Government survey website. A detailed description is provided in the Technical Report:

35. These respondents are, however, retained in the rest of the dataset, including the remainder of the self-completion section.

36. Data displayed in the table are unweighted.

37. Further detail of the weighting used in the survey and an explanation of when to use the different weights is provided in the accompanying Technical Report.


Email: Stuart King