Drugs: Breaking the Cycle - Home Affairs Committee Contents

Key facts

  • England and Wales has almost the lowest recorded level of drug use in the adult population since measurement began in 1996. Individuals reporting use of any drug in the last year fell significantly from 11.1% in 1996 to 8.9% in 2011-12. There was also a substantial fall in the use of cannabis from 9.5% in 1996 to 6.9% in 2011-12.
  • The prevalence of drug use among 11 to 15 year olds has also declined since 2001. In 2010, 18% of pupils reported that they had ever taken drugs and 12% said they had taken drugs in the last year, compared with 29% and 20% in 2001.
  • Around four in five adults (78%) who had taken any illicit drug in the last year thought it was very or fairly easy for them to personally get illegal drugs when they wanted them: around a third (34%) thought it was very easy and 44% thought it fairly easy. Adults who had not taken any illicit drug in the last year perceived a slightly lower level of ease of obtaining illegal drugs if they wanted them (75% perceived it to be very or fairly easy to obtain drugs compared with 78% of those that had taken drugs in the last year).
  • Around 50% of all organised crime groups are involved in drugs and 80% of the most harmful groups are involved in drugs predominantly in importation/supply of class A drugs.
  • Drugs account for some 20% of all crime proceeds, about half of transnational organized crime proceeds and between 0.6% and 0.9% of global GDP. Drug-related profits available for money-laundering through the financial system would be equivalent to between 0.4% and 0.6% of global GDP.

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2012
Prepared 10 December 2012