healthHealth and Medicine

Country Where In The World People Take The Most Drugs Revealed


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

Most people lost their “cocaine virginity” at age 19 to 20. xpixel/Shutterstock

The results for the 2018 Global Drug Survey are in, dishing out all the dirt on the world’s biggest consumers of recreational drugs, as well the cost and culture surrounding their favorite vices.

The annual reported quizzed over 130,000 people in 44 countries – primarily in Europe, Australasia, and the Americas – about drug and alcohol-use in an anonymous online survey. The findings were then interpreted by a collection of experts from the fields of medicine, public health, psychology, government policy, sociology, and criminology. Their hope is to make drug use safer, regardless of its legal status, by giving open and meaningful information to consumers.


The world’s favorite drug of choice was cannabis, with around 46 percent of the 130,000 respondents reporting that they smoked it in the last year. This was followed by MDMA (21 percent), cocaine (17 percent), amphetamines (13 percent), and LSD (11 percent).

That said, one in three cannabis smokers said they want to use it less in the coming year.

One finding from the report was very clear: Scotland can’t get enough cocaine. Scottish users consume 1.2 grams of cocaine per session – that’s double the global average. In England, it was around 0.7 grams, and in Colombia, Czech Republic, and Slovakia, it was just 0.4 grams per occasion. The proportion of Scots who used cocaine in the past year (2.2 percent) was only exceeded by Brazil and Colombia (8.9 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively).

In the Scottish city of Glasgow, over 36 percent of users can get cocaine delivered to their house quicker than a takeaway pizza. Around 26 percent of Londoners and people in Ontario can also experience this level of speediness.


Most people lost their “cocaine virginity” at age 19 or 20. It was slightly younger for MDMA (ecstasy), which most people first tried at age 18. On the whole, people noted their experience of first trying drugs was positive, although a small chunk reported a negative experience.

The average respondent used MDMA on 9.7 days within the last 12 months. MDMA use was highest in Brazil, France, and Australia, with people taking it an average of 13-14 days in the last year. It was most pricey in New Zealand, costing an ample $24 per pill. The lowest prices could be found in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and other European countries, at around $7 per pill.

Leading on from the pizza delivery statistic, home delivery is a big theme of this year’s findings with more and more people reporting that they now buy their drugs online from the dark web, especially in Finland, Norway, and the UK.

“There is no doubt that home drug delivery is becoming more popular. With many cities covered with CCTV cameras, traditional street dealing is becoming less attractive to suppliers and consumers alike,” explained Professor Adam R Winstock, Founder of the Global Drug Survey.


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