Now in it’s sixth year, the Global Drug Survey (GDS) is the world’s biggest drug survey, and this year HIGH TIMES has partnered with GDS on its mission to make drug use safer—regardless of the legal status of the drug.
Comprised of a network of researchers, clinicians and harm reduction organizations from over 20 different countries, each year GDS tries to broaden the scope and reach of its work, with a target of over 150,000 participants for its 2017 survey. Partnering with some of the biggest global organizations in the world (including the Guardian, Vice, ZEIT ONLINE and Fairfax Media), GDS focuses on those issues that are often ignored by traditional research organizations and government-funded centers to address issues such as overdose prevention, blood borne virus, irrational drug policies and human rights violations, which are central to shifting the way we can reduce harm from drug use on a global scale.
GDS complements work done by research and advocacy groups who work for change in these important areas by focusing on the drug use patterns of non-dependent drug users. In addition, the survey aims to identify new drug trends before they enter the wider population.
Creating a voice that is trusted for sharing that information is a challenge, especially given that the most trusted source of information on drugs is from others who use drugs. GDS sees its role as translating the expertise and experience of hundreds of thousands of people who use drugs into engaging, credible and useful information about drug use behavior and harm reduction resources that are shared by its global media network and via its website.
Taking part in the Global Drug Survey is as important this year as any other year.
Since it began in 2010, the world of drugs has changed remarkably—from the rise of darknet markets and the creation of hundreds of new psychoactive drugs, to sweeping drug law reforms and growing awareness that drugs like MDMA and LSD can be invaluable therapeutic agents. Good information has never been so important.
This year, the structure of the survey has changed so that people can complete a core section in about 20 minutes before being offered a selection of specialty topics that GDS has chosen to target. From looking at cannabis as medicine in the real world and what form of regulation cannabis users want to see in their country to the use of vaping devices, GDS2017 is boldly going where no drug survey has gone before.
The survey is anonymous and confidential, and the first time anyone will see the results is when GDS’ media partners share them in June 2017. Experience counts. Please share yours! Take the GDS2017 today and help make drug use safe!
Dr. Adam R. Winstock is the founder of Global Drug Survey and a consultant psychiatrist. Monica Barratt, Jason Ferris and Larissa Maier also contributed to this call for participation on behalf of GDS.