International — Drug Control Policies Around The World

Social Determinants and Substance Use

Social Determinants and Substance Use: There is strong evidence of an association between social determinants—such as unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and family breakdown—and drug use. Socio-economic status has been associated with drug-related harms such as foetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol and other drug disorders, hospital admissions due to diagnoses related to alcoholism, lung cancer, drug overdoses and alcohol-related assault.

Prevalence of Injection Drug Use

Prevalence of Injection Drug Use in Australia: "It has been estimated that a very low proportion of the Australian general population aged 14 years and over have ever injected or recently injected drugs. In 2010, 1.8% of the population had injected a drug in their lifetime, with 0.4% having injected a drug in the past year. More than one-quarter (27.1%) of recent users injected daily and the majority obtained their needles and syringes from a chemist (64.5%). Males were more likely to have recently injected drugs in the past year than females (0.6% versus 0.3%).

Prevalence of Alcohol and Cannabis Use Among Young People in Canada

Prevalence of Alcohol and Cannabis Use Among Youth in Canada: "Some key findings from the report are as follows. Among students in grades 7, 9, 10, and 12 (i.e., those approximately 12–18 years old):
"• Alcohol use is almost twice as prevalent as cannabis use (46–62% of students report alcohol use and 17–32% report cannabis use in the past year, depending on the province);
"• 19–30% report consuming five or more drinks on a single occasion in the past month;

Prevalence of Cannabis Use in Canada, by Province

Prevalence of Cannabis Use in Canada, by Province: "Provincial prevalence of past-year cannabis use ranged from 8.5% in New Brunswick to 13.8% in British Columbia. There were no year-to-year changes in provincial rates of cannabis use. Each province’s past-year cannabis prevalence was compared with the average prevalence for the nine remaining provinces. Of these, only British Columbia shows higher than average prevalence."

Prevalence of Drug Use Among Students in England

"There has been a decline in drug use by 11 to 15 year old pupils since 2001. In 2011, 17% of pupils had ever taken drugs, compared with 29% in 2001. There were similar falls in the proportions of pupils who reported taking drugs in the last year and the last month. The decline in the prevalence of drug use parallels the fall in the proportions of pupils who have ever been offered drugs, from 42% in 2001 to 29% in 2011.

Prevalence of Drug Use Among Youth in Scotland, by Gender

"Ever used drugs (includes used drugs more than a year ago, in the last year and in the last month).
"Around one in five 15 year olds and a minority of 13 year olds reported ever having used drugs, with boys more likely than girls to have ever used drugs.
"• Eighteen per cent of 15 year olds and 4% of 13 year olds reported ever taking drugs.
"• Boys were more likely than girls to have ever used drugs (5% compared with 3% among 13 year olds and 19% compared with 16% for 15 year olds).

Providing Naloxone to Prisoners at Risk of Opioid Overdose on Release in Scotland

"SPS [Scottish Prison Service] developed an intervention to provide naloxone to prisoners at risk of opioid related overdose on release from prison, as part of the National Naloxone Programme, in recognition of the increased risk of overdose in the first four weeks following release from prison custody. The naloxone is packed in with their personal belongings, which are stored at reception, then supplied to the prisoner on release from custody.