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1 in 3 UK adults use illicit drugs in their lifetime: Poll

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A new UK survey shows nearly one in three British adults have used illegal drugs in their lifetime and that 40 percent of the drug users polled are of the higher social class.

Administered among a sample of 15-million British population by the UK-based The Guardian’s sister newspaper, The Observer, the survey further indicated that while 31 percent of the participants had used illegal drugs, 21 percent or nearly 3 million of them stated that they were still on drugs, The Guardian reported on Sunday.

The results indicated an increase in illegal drug use, 31 percent now compared to 27 percent of the respondents who said they had used drugs in their lifetime in a 2008 survey.

According to the poll, 40 percent of respondents that admitted to taking drugs were in the UK’s National Readership Survey social grade AB (upper middle class to middle class).

The survey further revealed that nearly 41 percent reported first-time drug use as early as between the age of 16 to 18 with marijuana being the most common drug.

Amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy also showed a higher percentage of use (34, 29 and 25 percent respectively), representing nearly 3.75 to 5 million of the British population.

According to the study, the most common reason cited for illegal drug use was curiosity, while 84 percent of the participants stated that they used drugs at home or at a friend’s house, contrary to previous surveys that showed illegal drugs were mostly used in clubs and other public hangouts.

The poll also indicates that up to 8 percent of the UK’s population spends more than 200 British pounds or USD 319 per month on illegal drugs.

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