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DRUGABUSE Development of Ideas and Concepts. GDRM4 BY YASMIN ROSE COLLIER


INTRODUCTION According to latest statistics around 12m people in the UK and Wales have tried an illegal drug in their lifetime. It has become significant that drug use amongst 16-24 year olds is twice as high as for 16-59 year olds overall. According to a recent crime survey for England and Wales there has been a slight increase in illegal drug use from 2010/11 to 2011/12 rising from 36.3% to 36.5%. Although this may not be a drastic increase it has become apparent that it is unlikely that people are going to stop using drugs anytime soon. It has been and will be an on-going issue for many years to come.

evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won – Global Commission on drug policy (June 2013)


The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world

– Global Commission on drug policy (June 2013)

SYNOPSIS Unlike most drug awareness campaigns that may use scare tactics to inform and highlight the dangers related to substance misuse, this project aims to offer a detailed insight into respective drugs and their effects and focus on facts rather than scare tactics to educate. According to a recent study there was 1,757 notifications of drug related deaths occurring in 2011 of which 34% reflected the fact that more than one drug was present in the system. It also showed 27% of deaths contained a mention of alcohol in addition to a drug. Key findings have also found that the main underlying causes of death were accidental poisoning with 70% being the result of this.

accidental 70%poisoning


TARGET AUDIENCE


The target audience will be those aged between 16-24, although it could potentially target an older demographic too. As previously mentioned currently in the UK there are an estimated 12m drug users and the percentage of drug users aged between 16-24 is twice as high as those between the age of 16-59. By creating - an educa tional piece aimed at this demographic it should increase knowledge and educate those who are most likely to become exposed to drug culture or know somebody who takes drugs. By educating and informing what certain drugs do to ones body and also how they should be taken safely it should help decrease the amount of drug related deaths.

Drug usage is consistently higher for young people than for the whole population – DrugScope (2013)

16-24 yr olds

16-59 yr olds


RESEARCH PRIMARY RESEARCH To date, research has been carried out through questionnaires, which were distributed to thirty-six participants between the ages of sixteen and twentyfour. The questionnaires contained ten questions concerning drug use; aiming to gather information on how many people use drugs, the contexts in which they are most likely to use drugs and how often people take them.

RESULTS FROM SUBSTANCE MISUSE SURVEY


From this research relevant quantitative data was collected. It was found that 58% of participants use illicit drugs, and 89% of participants know someone close to them who uses drugs.


RESULTS 0 to 100% CANNABIS ECSTASY PILLS MDMA COCAINE KETAMINE LSD MAGIC MUSHROOMS AMPHETAMINE HEROIN LEGAL HIGHS When asked which illicit drug users have taken or that somebody they know has used results were as follows; 97% use cannabis, 84% use MDMA, 78% have taken ecstasy pills, 78% have used cocaine, 66% have used keta- mine, 56% have taken magic mushrooms, 47% have used LSD and 31% have used amphetamines. Also 63% of drug users had used legal highs such as poppers and steroids.


MOST LIKELY TO LEAST LIKELY home

music festival

Someone elses home

street/outdoor area

bar/pub

somewhere else

club/party/rave

Results also showed that music festivals were chosen as the most likely place to take drugs closely followed by club/party/rave and then thirdly someone else’s home.


ELECTRIC ZOO One issue that is of particular debate is the current media exposure concerning drug related deaths at music festivals. One in particular the Electric Zoo festival held in New York. The last day of the festival was cancelled on the 1st September this year due to two drug related deaths as well as four being hospitalized and in critical condition. New York Police believe all six attendees either overdosed or took tainted doses of the party drug MDMA. As previously mentioned it would be unrealistic to think that drug use is going to stop anytime in the near future particularly amongst youth ‘the evidence of drug use within youth culture suggests that the experience of substances is often pleasurable rather than negative and damaging. So probably the main reason why young people take drugs is that they enjoy them’ (DrugScope. 2013) Therefore can have. Research suggests that music festivals are growing in popularity and it has become apparent such music festivals are a popular place for drug use and experimentation.

Drugs are used to enhance recreational pursuits, such as popular use of ecstasy at raves and music festivals – Hanson (2011. p57)

71% of participants had experienced having to look after someone such as a friend who has had a bad experience on drugs. When asked if more should be done to educate young people and festival attendees regarding how drugs should be taken safely 81% of participants agreed more needs to done. -

The results from these questionnaires have proved to be useful in better understanding the habits and trends of drug users regarding where they use and what they use.


LIMITATIONS However there are some limitations to current research undertaken. For example the survey only consisted of thirty-six participants to gain a more accurate overview more participants would need to be asked. People may have felt less willing to fill out the survey, as it was regarding illicit drugs an area which is largely a taboo, questions related to drug use and user habits may have made the participant feel uncomfortable in sharing information or accurate information. From the 90 participants asked only 36b answered the survey and out of that

36 only 33 of the participants answered all the questions asked. Also more qualitative research needs to be undertaken in order to gain a better understanding of the opinions of festival attendees. Interviews with festival staff and medical professionals may also be useful in gaining a better overview of the dangers encountered with related drug misuse and whether existing campaigns are effective.


RESEARCH SECONDARY RESEARCH In order to create an effective campaign secondary research is relevant to determine which factors affect drug misuse. Current awareness programs need to be taken into consideration.

Are they using ineffective communication strategies? After researching into current drug awareness campaigns it has become apparent that a high number of these campaigns use scare and shock tactics to convey their message. For example an anti-marijuana commercial created in 2004 by John Walters, the commercial suggests that smoking marijuana will lead to running over little girls on bicycles. Researchers found commercials like the one mentioned didn’t work and that “lying to kids” has adverse effects on drug use and “caused young people to disbelieve the anti-marijuana message entirely” (Mirken. B. 2009) Research has shown that methods such as shock and scare tactics can actually encourage young people to experiment with drugs and has been connected to the “development of pro-marijuana attitudes and increase likelihood of trying marijuana” (Mirken. B. 2009) therefore making these campaigns ineffective. -

The only way to stop people becoming addicted to drugs is to advise and educate, not patronise and lie. – Simon Moore, UK


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AND

FACTS AND STATS

PROVIDE

ADVISE EDUCATE

DO NOT WORK


Social psychology studies have proven that shock tactics alone are generally ineffective for motivating behaviour change. – TCN, USA


Literature Review HOME OFFICE STATISTICS Secondary sources of research include the Home Office drug misuse statistics website (https://www.gov.uk/government/) which offers a detailed review of key findings related to drug misuse in the UK and Wales and statistics on trends of drug use. So far this has offered a factual insight to drug misuse as well as highlight related issues and influences such as age groups, areas and types of substances.

DRUG SCOPE

Further information from the drug scope website (http://www.drugscope.org.uk) has provided a detailed review on drug related trends and information on the psychology of drug users. Answering questions such as, why do young people take drugs? Does education stop drug use? How effective existing media campaigns are? The website also provides information and links to existing anti-drug campaigns.

YOUTH ATTITUDES TOWARDS DRUGS

An Analytical report regarding ‘Youth attitudes towards drugs’ found on the ‘Europa Public Opinion’ website (ec.europa.eu/public_opinion) offers an insight into opinions of those aged between 15 and 24. It covers related issues such as becoming better informed about illicit drugs, drug use and the perceived health risks of using drugs. Questions include ‘through which channels have you been informed over the past year about the effects and risks of the use of illicit drugs?’, ‘If you wanted to have information about illicit drugs and drug use in general, who would you turn to?’, and also ‘to what extent do you think the following substances may pose a risk to a person's health?’. The results from these questions suggest a lack of knowledge regarding the potential health risks supporting the projects aim of creating a educational resource aimed at a younger demographic. Further answers about which media young people use in order to find information regarding drug use and general information will also help in deciding possible routes in which this project can take.


NHS DATABASE Research taken from the NHS website (www.nhs.uk/Livewell/drugs) has provided a clear understanding of the dangers of using certain drugs. It gives a comprehensive explanation of the short-term and long-term affects drugs can have on the brain of users. This resource should provide very useful information to the project as primary research so far has indicated that the target audience feels as though they should be better informed on the subject and this should be able to provide a factual insight to the facts and effects drugs on users.


VISUAL EXPERIMEnTS

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DRUG AWARENESS

we are drowning IN information

but starvED for knowledge

DRUGABUSE DRUGS CAN KILL LEARN THE FACTS. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

According to latest statistics around 12m people in the UK and Wales have tried an illegal drug in their lifetime. It has become significant that drug use amongst 16-24 year olds is twice as high

-

as for 16-59 year olds overall. According to a recent crime survey for England and Wales there has been a slight increase in illegal drug use from 2010/11 to 2011/12 rising from 36.3% to 36.5%.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

According to latest statistics around 12m people in the UK and Wales have tried an illegal drug in their lifetime. It has become significant that drug use amongst 16-24 year olds is twice as high

as for 16-59 year olds overall. According to a recent crime survey for England and Wales there has been a slight increase in illegal drug use from 2010/11 to 2011/12 rising from 36.3% to 36.5%.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER -

According to a recent study there were 1,757 notifications of drug related deaths occurring in 2011 of which 34% deaths showed that more than one drug was present in the system. It also showed 27% of deaths contained a mention of alcohol in addition to a drug. Key findings have also found that the main underlying causes of death were accidental poisoning with 70% being the result of this

According to a recent study there were 1,757 notifications of drug related deaths occurring in 2011 of which 34% deaths showed that more than one drug was present in the system. It also showed 27% of deaths contained a mention of alcohol in addition to a drug. Key findings have also found that the main underlying causes of death were accidental poisoning with 70% being the result of this


Research undertaken has shown that the “that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won� (Global Commission. June 2013) Drug use has been and will be an issue for many years to come. If our current campaigns that adopt shock and scare tactics are proving ineffective with most producing adverse responses another approach needs to be taken. More needs to be done in order to educate young people and possibly parents by providing facts on damaging effects related with drug use and also other information such as how drugs should be taken safely. Therefore this project aims to provide young people with information, which will enable them to make educated decisions rather uneducated mistakes that could cost them their lives.


Development of Ideas and Concepts. GDRM4 BY YASMIN ROSE COLLIER


Drug Abuse