Drug use is one of those subjects that seems to dip in and out of the public discourse, depending on whether there’ve been a number of overdoses, or if things are a bit on the quieter side, but like AIDS, it never really goes away. And while drug abuse is not peculiar to the UK, there are some startling stats that may raise some eyebrows as it pertains to the widespread use of illicit substances on our fair shores. Here’s some things to chew on.

 

Drug Use Is Starting Earlier

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According to a 2014 poll taken by The Guardian, drug use is beginning at an earlier age. Of a sample taken of those who use drugs, 64% of them in the poll began their drug use under the age of 16 to 18. The mean age for the beginning of their drug use was 19, indicative of the fact that more people are getting into drugs younger. This has troubling implications for the future, because teen drug use often becomes adult drug use and perpetuates a cycle that affects the children of adult drug users. The issue may be that more children are being exposed to drugs at an earlier age by friends or adults who are already heavy users, and by initiating them into that world, young people find it much more difficult to get clean.

Some studies show a correlation between early drug use, poverty and crime. In cities and neighborhoods riddled with poverty, youths tend to have more idle time, which creates boredom and the need to get up to something, and that’s catnip for drug peddlers.