Home > Global drug survey (GDS) 2021 key findings report.

Winstock, Adam and Maier, Larissa J and Zhuparris, Ahnjili and Davies, Emma L and Puljević, Cheneal and Kuypers, Kim PC and Ferris, Jason A and Barratt, Monica J (2021) Global drug survey (GDS) 2021 key findings report. London: Global Drug Survey.

PDF (Global drug survey 2021: key findings report)
PDF (Global drug survey 2021: executive summary)

External website: https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/

Data from 32,022 people from 22 countries were used in the preparation of this report.

Global Drug Survey (GDS), established in 2012, is an independent research organisation based in London. We run the world’s largest drug survey. We use an encrypted online platform to collect anonymous drug use data from across the world. Our mission is to promote honest conversations about drug use and help people use drugs more safely regardless of the legal status of the drug. To date over 900,000 people have taken part in GDS research, and we have published over 65 academic papers. With the launch of GDS2022 in November 2021, we hope to reach 1 million participants by the end of 2021. GDS2021 was presented in 11 languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.

GDS is not a prevalence study. GDS data are from a non-probability sample and thus our findings are not representative of the wider population. The rates of drug use in this sample are significantly higher when compared to the general population. The data can be used to describe use patterns and identify new drug trends. The majority of our participants tend to be young, experienced with the use of illicit drugs, and employed or in education. We have included questions that are relevant to marginalized and vulnerable groups of people who use drugs, yet these groups are largely underrepresented online.

P.10 Some country differences were observed in the adoption of COVID-safe cannabis practices. Over two thirds of our respondents from Brazil reported increases in one or more COVID-safe cannabis use practices, and around 60% reported safety improvements in Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US. An unusually high proportion of the Romanian sample reported increased risk when using cannabis (40%).

Exec summary P.3 On average respondents to GDS2021 reported regretting getting drunk on 21% of occasions (compared to 30% in GDS2020). Regret was highest among respondents from countries reporting getting drunk least often. The highest rates of regret were reported in Ireland (28.4%) and lowest in Denmark and Finland (17%).

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Screening / Assessment
December 2021
27 p.
Global Drug Survey
Place of Publication

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