Trends in drug use among Scottish adolescents

  • Scottish Government
  • 26 Nov 2019

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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The Scottish Government has published the latest data on trends in drug use among adolescents aged 13 and 15 years as a part of the 2018 Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

Key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Six per cent of 13-year-olds and 21 per cent of 15-year-olds reported having ever used drugs. Four per cent of 13-year-olds and 12 per cent of 15-year-olds said they had used drugs in the past month.
  • The most widely used drug was cannabis, 19 per cent of 15-year-olds having used it.
  • Among 15-year-olds, the proportion of ever drug use was as follows: ecstasy (5%), cocaine (5%), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (5%) and any form of novel psychoactive substances (5%). 
  • Thirty-one per cent of 13-year-olds and 42 per cent of 15-year-olds who had ever used drugs reported concomitant alcohol consumption last time they took drugs.
  • Thirty-six per cent of 13-year-olds and 45 per cent of 15-year-olds who had ever taken drugs had experienced 1 negative effect from drug use in the past year, the most common negative consequences being arguments, vomiting and doing something they later regretted.
  • Twenty-two per cent of 13-year-olds and 47 per cent of 15-year-olds reported being ever been offered drugs.
  • The most common source of getting drugs among ever users was friends (those of the same age or older).
  • Among 15-year-olds, 33 per cent, 11 per cent and 9 per cent of individuals thought it was 'ok' for someone of their age to 'try' cannabis, sniffing glue and cocaine, respectively.