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States of the nation. Andy McNicoll Communications Officer, DrugScope. What we’ll cover. The drugs landscape The usual suspects Heroin and crack Cannabis Stimulant market ‘New’ kids on the block Mephedrone Ketamine GBL/GHB Emerging ‘legal highs’. ‘Problem drug use’.

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states of the nation

States of the nation

Andy McNicollCommunications Officer, DrugScope

what we ll cover
What we’ll cover
  • The drugs landscape
  • The usual suspects
    • Heroin and crack
    • Cannabis
    • Stimulant market
  • ‘New’ kids on the block
    • Mephedrone
    • Ketamine
    • GBL/GHB
    • Emerging ‘legal highs’
problem drug use
‘Problem drug use’
  • Estimated 328,267 opiate and/or crack users
  • 173,487 in treatment in 08/09
  • 1 in 4 report housing problem
the trainspotting generation
‘The Trainspotting generation’
  • Ageing heroin-using population
    • 03/04 - 28% of clients 35+
    • 08/09 - 42% of clients 35+
  • Challenges for services
  • End of Trainspotting generation?
other trends
Other trends
  • Street benzo use
    • Used to “top up” poor heroin
    • Legitimate pills diverted from EU
    • Counterfeits from Asia/internet
  • Subutex use
    • Popular in prisons
    • Didn’t show up in prison drug tests
estimated number of 16 to 59 year olds who report using a drug in the last year 2008 09
Estimated number of 16 to 59 year olds who report using a drug in the last year 2008/09

Source: Home Office (2009) Drug misuse declared: findings from the 2008/09 British Crime Survey

cannabis
Cannabis
  • Approx 1 in 3 (31%) of adults have tried it
  • Made Class B in 2009
  • Different types:
    • Cannabis resin
    • ‘Traditional herbal’ cannabis
    • Skunk
uk cannabis market
UK cannabis market

Source: Home Office (2008) Cannabis potency study

Source: Home Office (2009) Drug seizures in England and Wales

industrial strength
Industrial strength?
  • 1998: UK average potency (THC) 7-9%
  • 2008: UK average potency (THC) 12-14%
stimulant use
Stimulant use...

1990s

2000s

2010 and beyond...

powder power in the 2000s
Powder power in the 2000s...

% of 16 to 24 year olds reporting having used a drug in the last year

Source: Home Office (2009) Drug misuse declared findings from the 2008/09 BCS

powder power in the 2000s13
Powder power in the 2000s...

Average purity of cocaine seized 2003-2009

mephedrone
Mephedrone
  • Rise coincided with low quality coke & scarcity of MDMA.
  • March 2009
    • Popular among ‘psychonauts’
    • Cheap,available & effective
    • Effects similar to cocaine/E
  • April 2010
    • Made Class B drug
    • Reports of hospital admissions
    • ‘Linked to’ 20+ deaths
from shanghai to skegness
From Shanghai to Skegness...
  • Created in 2004 by ‘psychonaut’ chemist
  • Made in Chinese labs
    • 1kg wholesale for £2,600
  • Sold online and in headshops
    • Profit margin for websites £7,500 per kilo
  • Opened door to ‘online’ dealing
  • 24 hour a day delivery
what s next
What’s next?
  • NRG-1
    • Marketed as naphyrone
  • But what is actually in it?
    • MDPV?
    • Mephedrone?
    • Methylone?
ketamine
Ketamine
  • Class C since 2005
  • ‘Dissociative anaesthetic’
  • Trends in 2009:
    • Still popular and available
    • Some injecting users
    • Evidence of bladder damage
    • Dependence
ghb gbl
GHB/GBL
  • Liquid solvents dubbed ‘liquid ecstasy’
  • GHB - Class C from 2003
  • GBL – made Class C in Jan 2010
  • 2009 – addiction/withdrawal cases:
    • Similar to alcohol dependency
    • Detox in hospitals near ICUs
    • Dedicated detox service setup at Maudsley hospital
it s in the mix
It’s in the mix...
  • Polydrug use
  • 2009 Druglink survey
    • ‘Junk food’ drug market
    • Low quality reported across the board
    • Pick ‘n mix use of a range of drugs
spot the difference
Spot the difference...

mephedrone

VS

Naphyrone)

flephedrone

world wired web
World wired web...
  • Internet the ‘future of drug dealing’?
  • What’s next?
    • Return of £10 pill?
    • LSD?
    • Myriad ‘legal’ white powders...
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