Every year, the Global Drug Survey collects information from more than 100,000 people around the world about their drug use. It's the largest drug survey in the world—run in more than 35 countries, translated into 20 languages. And it has a simple goal: To make drug use safer, regardless of whether the substances are legal or not.
The 2018 survey has just launched. And this year, the researchers behind it have a few specific questions they are looking for answers to—from how you lost your "drug virginity," to whether it takes longer to get a gram of coke or a family-sized pizza delivered in your city.
"We have a special focus on darknet markets this year: we will be asking about perceptions of whether drugs are easier to get, cheaper or better value for money, even if you don’t use the darknet," says Dr Monica Barrett, who's heading up the survey in Australia. "We think Australians may have different response to rest of world, given how relatively expensive Aussie drugs are."
There will also be questions about drug checking services, buying drugs over Snapchat, and whether you've ever used novel psychoactive drugs. Don't worry, it's all completely anonymous—collected over an encrypted connection. Over the past few years, more than 450,000 people have taken part, and exactly zero have had the cops show up at their house.
All of this information is collated by a team of researchers, led by UK-based addiction specialist Dr Adam Winstock. It's used for everything from drafting up academic papers, to warning health organisations about emerging drug trends, and making resources for the general public. This year, a key focus is trying to work out the best way to quit cannabis.
"One in three of you have told us that you’d like to use less cannabis and almost half
of you have tried to stop," says the GDS' founder, Dr Adam Winstock. "So this year we’re asking people about their experiences of trying to quit so that we can pass on the ways that work and the ways that don’t."
Another thing the survey will investigate is what makes the perfect MDMA pill. We suspect the drive for high dose MDMA pills over the last couple of year has not been the result of extensive focus group conducted by MDMA manufacturers and suppliers of typical users across the world," Dr Winstock says.
"One thing is sure: most people don’t seem to want pills with 200mg plus in them—especially if they don’t expect taking such a high dose."
The Global Drug Survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. If you want to have your say, check out the survey site.