Prevalence of Use of Ecstasy and Various Other Drugs in England and Wales Among People Aged 16 to 19

"The level of last year ecstasy use by adults aged 16 to 59 in the 2016/17 survey (1.3%, or around 439,000 people) was similar to the previous year (1.5%, or around 492,000 people). There have been small but statistically significant falls compared with a decade ago (1.8% in 2006/07) and the start of measurement by the survey in 1996 (1.7%). Generally, the proportion of 16 to 59 year olds using ecstasy in the last year has been relatively flat throughout the lifetime of the survey, fluctuating between one and two per cent since measurement began in 1996 (Figure 1.4).

"In the 2016/17 survey, the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds reporting ecstasy use in the last year was 4.3 per cent (around 262,000 young adults), a similar level to the 2015/16 survey. The proportion of young adults using ecstasy was generally falling since 2001/02, with the lowest proportion in the 2012/13 survey year (2.9%).
Since 2012/13, use has increased and the level of use is now similar to the level ten years ago (4.8% in 2006/07). It is statistically significantly lower than the 1996 estimate of 6.6 per cent and the 2001/02 peak of 6.8 per cent.

"There were statistically significant falls in around half of drug types compared with a decade ago (2006/07 CSEW). These can be seen in Appendix Table 1.02. There were also statistically significant changes between the 2015/16 and 2016/17 survey years for a number of the less frequently used drugs, outlined below.
"• Magic mushroom use fell among adults aged 16 to 59. Use decreased from 0.4 to 0.3 per cent, the difference representing around 45,000 fewer people than last year. There was no statistically significant difference among young adults aged 16 to 24.

"• Mephedrone use fell, driven largely by a fall among young adults aged 16 to 24. The fall for 16 to 59 year olds was from 0.3 to 0.1 per cent (around 41,000 fewer people than the previous year). This was largely accounted for by a fall from 0.9 to 0.3 per cent among 16 to 24 year olds – around 38,000 fewer people than in the 2015/16 survey. Mephedrone use among 16 to 59 year olds has been falling steadily since questions were first asked in the 2010/11 CSEW (the 2010/11 estimate of last year mephedrone use was 1.3% of adults).

"• Anabolic steroid use increased among 16 to 24 year olds. Steroid use among this age group increased from 0.1 per cent in 2015/16 to 0.4 per cent in 2016/17 (equating to around 19,000 more young adults who had used anabolic steroids in the last year). This represents a reversal of the trend between the 2014/15 CSEW and the 2015/16 CSEW, when there was a statistically significant fall in last year anabolic steroid use, from 0.5 to 0.1 per cent.

"The summary of trends in Table 1 and Appendix Tables 1.02 and 1.06 show trends in last year drug use. Compared with the start of measurement in 1996, there have been statistically significant falls in the use of most drug types among adults aged 16 to 59 and adults aged 16 to 24. However, both age groups have shown an increase in the use of powder cocaine relative to the 1996 estimates."


Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2016/17 Crime Survey for England and Wales. Statistical Bulletin 11/17. National Statistics. Home Office. July 2017.