Students and Drugs

The Telegraph report on drug use by UK university students:

One-in-four students at British universities admitted to having taken ‘legal highs’, of whom 39 per cent said they had experimented with salvia. Salvia is one of the most powerful known hallucinogenic herbs.

The people who conducted the survey put further flesh on the bones:

Over half of university students (54%) admit to taking some form of illegal drugs since they have been at university. Unsurprisingly cannabis is the most common drug tried at uni – 77% of those who have tried an illegal drug have tried cannabis. Ecstasy / MDMA (39%), cocaine (24%), Mephedrone or meow meow (18%) and legal highs (17%) were also cited amongst students as drugs they have tried since starting university.

What they don’t say is what their methodology was for conducting their survey so we need to treat the results with some caution.  And I note that the most recent Home Office analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales, report that 14.6% of students said that they had taken a drug in the last year.

What the survey does reveal is that there is a misconception about the use of drugs amongst this peer group:

90% of students think that their peers have tried illegal drugs whilst at university, whilst in reality almost half of respondents (45%) have never tried any form of illegal drugs.

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