UQ leads the world’s largest drug survey

The University of Queensland has launched the world’s largest drug survey to gain insight into drug use around the globe. The survey was founded by Professor Adam Winstock from University College London and has been running annually since 2012.

This year the survey is led by Dr Cheneal Puljevic from the University of Queensland School of Public Health.

“The aim of the Global Drug Survey is to make drug use safer for people, regardless of the drug’s legality,” Dr Puljevic said.

“We hope to gain insight into drug use across the world, so we can inform individuals and organisations about what’s going on in their communities and how best to reduce harms from drug use.”

This year’s survey will as respondents will be asked about drug prices, discrimination, tobacco endgame policies, performance and image-enhancing drugs, nitrous oxide use and drug use in nightlife and festival settings.

Dr Puljevic said there had been very little international research into the tobacco black market.

“Illegal tobacco use has exploded in the past year, with some tobacconists in Australia selling packets of cigarettes for as little as $5,” she said.

“But we don’t really know much about who’s using illicit tobacco or where they’re getting it from.”

The 2024 survey also includes questions about how peoples’ drug use would change if drugs like MDMA and cocaine were decriminalised.

The anonymous online survey has been translated into 9 different languages and will be circulated worldwide.

It takes between 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

“The Global Drug Survey usually gets more than 100,000 respondents from more than 25 countries, so our goal is to exceed that this year,” Dr Puljevic said.

“We want as many diverse perspectives as possible, with respondents of all ages, genders and sexual orientations and from rural and urban areas.”