The YouGov Big Survey on Drugs: Drug abuse in the UK and politicians taking drugs

Milan DinicResearch Manager
January 24, 2022, 4:15 PM GMT+0

Eight in ten Britons (81%) think drug abuse is a big problem in the UK. Three in ten (30%) think that drugs represent a very big problem, while a further 51% say it’s a fairly big problem. Women (33%) are more likely than men (27%) to think drugs represent a very big problem.

On the other hand, 11% of the population think that drugs are not a problem in the UK. One in three Britons (33%) who are currently taking drugs think they pose little to no problem in the UK (60% say the opposite).

Older Britons are more likely to consider drugs to be a very big problem: from 39% among those 60 and older down to 19% among 16-24s.

When asked about the area where they live, half of Britons (53%) see drugs as a big problem, including 15% who view it as a very big problem in their local area.

Three in ten (29%) think that drug use is not really a big problem in their area, while a fifth (18%) are not sure.

Scots (65%) and Welsh people (64%) are the most likely to see drug use as being a big problem in their local area, while those in the Midlands (47%) and South of England (47%) are the least likely. In London, nearly six in ten (58%) think that drugs are a big problem in their local area.

A third of Britons (32%) think that drug abuse in their local area needs more attention than it is getting now. This view is shared by three in ten (28-30%) of those under the age of 60, and by 37% of those 60 and older. Among Britons who currently take drugs, 15% think drug abuse needs more attention locally. When it comes to Britons who say drugs are a problem in their local area, half (47%) say that drug abuse needs more attention.

Just 5% of Britons think the government is doing enough to tackle drug abuse in their local area, while over half (54%) think it is not.

Just 9% of Britons think the government is doing well at handling drug abuse. Six in ten (60%) think the government is doing a bad job at tackling drugs. Three in ten (31%) are not sure, with this applying significantly more to women (35%) than men (27%).

When the results are broken down by political orientation, 54% of Conservatives and 72% of Labour voters think the government isn’t doing a good job in handling drug abuse in the UK.

Approaching half of Britons (45%) think that politicians running for office should reveal if they have ever used recreational drugs. A third (33%) think they shouldn’t and around one in four (23%) don’t know.

Those over-65 (56%) are more likely than the younger generations (38-48%) to think politicians should reveal their drug history, as are those who have not taken drugs (50%) compared to those who have (38%).

Conservative voters are slightly more likely than Labour supporters (51% vs 45%) to want politicians to reveal any experiences they had with drugs.

See full results here and here

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