According to figures reported from the Crime Survey of England and Wales, the use of ecstasy and LSD amongst young adults has spiked over the past two years. Specifically, statistics from the survey indicate that ecstasy use has increased by 84 percent, while use of LSD has increased by a staggering 175 per cent.
According to the survey, roughly one in twenty young people (5 per cent) have used ecstasy over the past year. This equates to approximately 157,000 more people between the ages of 16 to 24 taking the drug last year compared to those who partook two years ago.
Over the same people of time, nearly 50,000 more young people took the hallucinogen LSD. While the per cent increase is greater, the total number of LSD users is much lower. In all, around 0.4 per cent of young people (or about 1 in 200) used the drug over the period in question.
In both cases, the drugs saw a year-on-year increase in consumption of about 40 per cent. This is a disappointing blow to the UK government’s hard-line approach to curbing drug use, as the recent introduction of new legislation was expected to combat drug use.
To be fair, overall drug use remained flat. However, these two class A drugs—which are both major targets of the drug war in the UK—appear to have thrived and grown in spite of efforts to suppress their use and availability.
Professor Fiona Measham, who is chair of a working group on substance use for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, pointed to a resurgence in rave culture for the increase in ecstasy use. “Really, there has been a resurgence in dance music,” she said. “My students all want to be part-time DJs and promoters.”