The Global Drug Survey (GDS) is the world’s biggest annual survey of drug use. And this year, we’re bigger than ever before. 

This year, GDS is about to become truly global. Our findings will be translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Flemish, German, Hungarian and Danish with media partners in the USA (Huffington Post); UK (Guardian, Mixmag, Hot Press & Gay Times); Australia and New Zealand (Fairfax Media) and Europe including Liberation in France, Der Morgen in Belgium and still others in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Denmark as well as Brazil and Mexico. We are asking for your help.

This year other than drug prevalence, cost and patterns of use including new drug trends, GDS has a big focus on marijuana. We will ask what effects the weed you smoke at the moment has. Does it make you sleepy, or tired? Hyper and excited? Relaxed or paranoid? Then we ask users to describe their perfect smoke, so we can share that information with weed growers – so they might diversify away from strong skunk weed, which we know from our other research is not want most people prefer.

Why?

Most people who drink and / or use drugs don’t become dependent or experience significant problems with them.  In the vast majority of cases neither are they used to manage underlying emotional or physical problems: people take them to enhance or even create an experience. And of course they are, in many cases, intensely pleasurable. Users know that, and to speak solely of harm, means many switch off. But drugs are also harmful, and the best way to discuss ways to reduce those harms is to acknowledge many people’s main motivation for using them: pleasure and fun.

What’s this year’s survey about?

This year alongside our ground-breaking research into users’ marijuana preferences, we will be undertaking the biggest ever survey of harm reduction strategies among drug users, finding out what people do and what they might be willing to do in the real work to maximise the fun they have while minimising the risks of harm. We’ll be asking about nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and prescription drug use, spotting new psychoactive drugs, exploring what happens around the world when you get caught with drugs and the whole murky and increasingly controversial area of workplace drug-testing.  

You can respond to the survey anonymously atwww.globaldrugsurvey.com/GDS2014. The results will be published in March 2014.

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