British people are the biggest consumers of drugs on the internet, according to the 2014 Global Drugs Survey, which includes nicotine, caffeinated drinks and alcohol in its definition of drugs.
The online survey received almost 80,000 responses from people in 18 countries. It was carried out in November and December of last year, and published earlier this week.
Looking at countries with over 1,500 respondents, 22.1 percent of British respondents said they had bought drugs on the internet, the largest proportion by country. Denmark was close behind, with 19.9 percent of Danes using the internet for drug purchases. Meanwhile, respondents in New Zealand had the smallest proportion of online drug purchases at 4 percent.
Among countries which sourced between 600 and 1,500 respondents Scotland had the highest percent of those using the internet to buy drugs at 20.5 percent.
Booze still the go-to drug
Generally, alcohol was by far the most popular drug of choice, with 90.8 percent of respondents saying they had consumed alcohol over the past year. This was followed by tobacco at 56.7 percent and cannabis at 48.2 percent. Caffeinated energy drinks were consumed by 45.9 percent of respondents.
23.4 percent of people surveyed had used methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, over the past year. Shisha tobacco followed at 18.5 percent, then cocaine at 16.4 percent.
Alcohol was also the biggest cause for concern among friends and the main culprit for sending people to the accident and emergency department. Over 2 percent of Irish respondents said they had sought emergency aid in the past year due to alcohol, while 0.7 percent of French drinkers had done so. The global average was around 1 percent.
Turning up to work hungover also proved common among the people surveyed. Over a third of respondents reported doing so, but less than half of these people said they went in coming down from drugs.
The Republic of Ireland was the worst culprit; 50 percent said they had been hungover for work in the past 12 months. The lowest rates were reported in the U.S. and Portugal at less than 25 percent.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands had the highest amount of respondents that admitted to attending work while coming down from the effects of drugs at 25 percent.
Finding a bargain
The survey also looked at the price of various drugs and their perceived 'value for money.' It found that prices varied widely across the globe; for instance, the average price of a gram of high-potency cannabis was €12 ($16.58), but varied from €6 in Spain to over €20 in Ireland.
Cocaine remained the most expensive drug at an average of €100 per gram, ranging from €50 in parts of Europe to €250 in New Zealand. Regardless of price, cocaine was seen as the worst globally in terms of value for money, scoring an average rating of 3.4 out of 10. On the flip side, MDMA was seen as the best value for money.
Taken with a grain of salt
The survey's compilers noted that readers should be careful when analyzing the results and comparing countries, however.
Dr. Adam R Winstock, consultant psychiatrist, addiction medicine specialist and founder and director of the Global Drug Survey, said respondents were not randomly selected, but rather self-nominated and therefore tended to be better educated, in their 20s and 30s, had been clubbing at least four times within the past year and had an interest in the topic.
The countries that participated were the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Mexico, Slovenia and Brazil.
The report did not make reference to the recent relaxation of cannibis laws in the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado, which have this year allowed the sale of marijuana for the first time.