KEY FINDINGS from the 2015/16 Crime Survey for England and Wales. Interesting information for workplace drug testing and drug testing statistics.

  • Around 1 in 12 (8.4%) adults aged 16 to 59 had taken a drug in the last year. This equated to around 2.7 million people. This level of drug use was similar to the 2014/15 survey (8.6%), but is statistically significantly lower than a decade ago (10.5% in the 2005/06 survey). The trend in last year drug use among 16 to 59 year olds has been flat for 7 years, since the 2009/10 survey. 

 

  • Around 1 in 5 (18.0%) young adults aged 16 to 24 had taken a drug in the last year. This proportion is more than double that of the wider age group, and equates to around 1.1 million people. This level of drug use was similar to the 2014/15 survey (19.5%), but statistically significantly lower than a decade ago (25.2% in the 2005/06 survey). 
  • Under 1 in 20 (4.3%) adults aged 16 to 59 had taken a drug in the last month, while around 1 in 11 (9.1%) young adults aged 16 to 24 had done so. Neither proportion has changed statistically significantly compared with the 2014/15 survey, but both are significantly lower compared with a decade ago, when 6.3 per cent of 16 to 59 year olds had reported taking a drug in the last month and 15.1 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds had done so. 

 

  • Over one-third (35.0%) of adults aged 16 to 59 had taken drugs at some point during their lifetime. This is an increase from 30.4 per cent in the 1996 survey, but similar to more recent figures, such as 35.1 per cent a decade ago in the 2005/06 survey. Use of illegal drugs in a person’s lifetime is likely to be affected by generational effects

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