Prevalence of drug misuse by 16 to 24 year olds in the previous year, 2001/02, England and Wales
In 2001/02, 15 per cent of men and 9 per cent of women aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales said that they had taken an illicit drug in the previous year. Among young people (those aged 16 to 24), 35 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women said they had done so in the previous year.
The most commonly used drug by young people was cannabis, which had been used by 33 per cent of young men and 21 per cent of young women in the previous year.
Ecstasy was the most commonly used Class A drug, with higher use among the 16 to 24 year olds than those aged 25 to 59. In 2001/02, 9 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women aged 16 to 24 had used ecstasy in the previous year.
Since 1996 there has been an increase in the use of cocaine among young people, especially among young men. In contrast the use of amphetamines and LSD has declined.
Drug offences accounted for 2 per cent of recorded crime in England and Wales in 2002/03. Drug offences can cover a range of activities, including unlawful production, supply, and most commonly, possession of illegal substances.
In 2001, the total number of drug seizures in the United Kingdom rose by 5 per cent to 131,000, following two years of decline. Seizures were 21,000 lower than in the last peak in 1998. HM Customs and the National Crime Squad generally seized larger amounts while local police forces made a greater number of smaller seizures.
Cannabis accounted for 71 per cent of the total number of seizures in 2001. In terms of the quantity of drugs seized, while the amount of cocaine seized fell by 28 per cent in 2001 to just under 3 tonnes, the amounts of the other main Class A drugs recovered all rose.