Prevalence of Drug Use Among Students in England
"There has been a decline in drug use by 11 to 15 year old pupils since 2001. In 2011, 17% of pupils had ever taken drugs, compared with 29% in 2001. There were similar falls in the proportions of pupils who reported taking drugs in the last year and the last month. The decline in the prevalence of drug use parallels the fall in the proportions of pupils who have ever been offered drugs, from 42% in 2001 to 29% in 2011.
"In 2011, 12% of pupils reported taking drugs in the last year; 6% said they had taken drugs in the last month. The prevalence of drug use increases with age; in 2011, the proportions of pupils who had taken drugs in the last year increased from 3% of 11 year olds to 23% of 15 year olds. There was little difference between the proportions of boys and girls who had taken drugs in the last year. Pupils of Black ethnicity were more likely to have taken drugs than White pupils.
"As in previous years, pupils were most likely to have taken cannabis (7.6% in the last year, down from 13.4% in 2001) or to have sniffed glue, gas or other volatile substances (3.5% in 2011). Other drugs asked about had been taken in the last year by 1% of pupils or less.
"A minority of pupils who take drugs did so frequently. Just over a third (35%) of those who took drugs in the last year said that they usually took them once a month or more (equivalent to 3% of all 11 to 15 year olds). 29% of those who took drugs in the last year had only ever taken drugs once."
Fuller, Elizabeth (Ed.), "Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2011" (London, England: NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, July 26, 2012), p. 9.