A couple of weeks ago we asked our readers to help us figure out what the drug scene in Malta really looks like. We wanted to paint a picture of how the drug scene is perceived by the people who live in it. How drugs form a part of the social-upbringing of young people in Malta, and the trends that are prevalent in today’s drug scene.
We’re not statisticians, nor are we interested in finding out exactly how many people take drugs in Malta – we’ll leave that to the Public Health professionals. Our aim is to demystify the realities of young people living with and around drug use – and uncover how they really feel about it.
1. So what did we find out?
Firstly, some context:
We asked about Cannabinoids, club drugs, stimulants, hallucinogens, dissociative drugs, opioids, and legal highs. All the questions we asked the respondents were based on this list – the survey didn’t include alcohol consumption.
The survey had 693 responses, most of which (54%) were from people aged between 20 and 29, and it was a pretty balanced divide of 54% male and 45% female respondents.
2. How many people use drugs and which ones are most popular?
Most people have tried drugs
An overwhelming 92% of the people who took the survey have tried drugs. Most did it just out of curiosity, “just for fun”, or because they wanted to try it at least once in their life. The majority of respondents wanted to try drugs for the first time for recreational reasons, although 15% used drugs to ease physical or emotional pain.
Nearly all have tried cannabis
The number of people who replied ‘yes’ to having tried illegal drugs was equal to the number of people to said that they’d tried Cannabinoids (92%). The second most tried group was stimulants, which includes drugs like Cocaine. The third was hallucinogens, like LSD for example.
3. How do most people feel about their own drug use?
Generally, they’re cool with it.
9 out of 10 people who’ve tried drugs don’t regret it
So – the bulk of respondents who tried drugs also don’t regret it, and a quarter of the people who answered said they’ve only taken drugs a handful of times in their lives. In terms of regularity, most people (28%) said that they use drugs on occasions like big nights out or parties. We also asked participants whether they take drugs on a daily basis – 9% said yes to that.
And the majority don’t think they have a problem
4% of our respondents said that they think they have a drug problem, versus the 91% who answered no to that one.
So it’s pretty safe to say that, our respondents – half of whom are in their twenties – nearly all have tried drugs, don’t regret it, and mostly don’t think they have a problem. They’ve all tried Cannabis (if they’ve tried drugs at all), and only 9% use drugs everyday.
But this is only a snapshot. Our survey digs into a lot more – it looks at how people feel about their friends taking drugs, where they do it, how aware they are of the drug use around them, and generally how the overriding drug trends are impacting the social scene in Malta.
We will be covering these aspects of drug-use so stay tuned for more findings. And if you still want to take the survey – go for it. All answers will be kept anonymous but may be published as part of our findings.