Scots among ‘most prolific ecstasy users in the world’

Users of ecstasy in Scotland are among the most prolific in the world, a survey has found
Users of ecstasy in Scotland are among the most prolific in the world, a survey has found
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Scotland is home to the some of the most prolific ecstasy users in the world, a major survey of global drug habits has revealed.

Those living north of the border who admitted taking the drug said they did so on an average of 14.5 days out of the last year - a figure second only to Ireland, where users averaged 14.8 days.

The results were revealed in the annual Global Drug Survey, a detailed questionnaire of drug-taking habits which was completed by more than 115,000 people in 50 countries, including 5,900 respondents from the UK.

Ecstasy, commonly known by its chemical name, MDMA, is often dubbed the original designer drug due to its association with the dance scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Drugs charities warn that users place themselves at risk as it is rarely pure and often cut with unknown substances.

In recent years, so-called legal highs - chemical compounds created to mimic the effects of illegal substances such as MDMA - have also become popular among users.

There were 15 deaths in Scotland from ecstasy-related drugs in 2015, according to official statistics.

The survey found swallowing a pill is the most popular method of drug consumption, accounting for 48.9 per cent of intake worldwide and 46 with a global average of 48.9% of users utilising this means. Scotland reflects this behaviour with 46% of MDMA users taking it in pill form.

MDMA is the most commonly bought drug on the dark-net, with cannibas a close second. There has been a significant rise in the number of drug users utilising the dark-net for buying their substances, 25 per cent of the UK’s users now use this method, up from 12.4 per cent in 2014.

Over 115,000 people’s answers were used in the survey of 50 countries. 5,900 UK citizens took part in the survey.

The survey askes repondents to answer questions on the frequency, quantity and method of use regarding each drug category in each country.

Methamphetamine was found to be the most dangerous drug with just under five per cent of users seeking emergency medical treatment after use.

The second most dangerous was synthetic cannibas - often called “Spice”.

The survey found that of Scotland’s drinkers, 43 per cent reported that they wish to drink less over the coming year, and just under 10 per cent wanting to seek help in lowering their alcohol consumption.

Of those who use marijuana frequently, the survey found that 13 per cent of Scottish smokers will have a joint within an hour of waking up.

This puts Scots smokers seventh in the rankings, with the USA first at 22 per cent.

Among cocaine users, Scotland stands as the tenth most frequent consumer at approximately 18 days out of the year. Brazil are top at over 32 days.

Of the Scottish cocaine consumers almost 36% want to take less next year, with 6.7% thinking of seeking help to do so.

Scotland is also the third highest purchaser of legal highs, or Noval Psychoactive substances, behind the US and the Netherlands.

READ MORE: Problem drug users in Scotland ‘increasingly aged over 35’