Survey of 2,000 15-18 Year Olds Reveals Dangers of Ignorance about UK Drug Laws, According to Drugs Education Charity DSM Foundation

New Survey Reveals Parties and Gatherings as Main Sources for Teen Drug Transactions

According to a recent survey conducted by the DSM Foundation, a drugs education charity, over 2,100 young people between the ages of 15-18 have reported that parties and gatherings are the most common places for them to obtain drugs. This data highlights the potential risks for young people who may not fully understand the legal consequences for drug transactions in such situations.

The DSM Foundation, which delivered workshops to over 12,000 school and college students in the autumn term of 2023, also found that the legal implications of drug supply were not fully understood by young people. The charity also organized workshops for parents, caregivers, and school staff, with the aim of educating these influential groups on the risks and consequences of drug use.

The survey data also revealed outdoor areas such as parks as the second most common place for young people to come across drugs, followed by someone’s house, social media, and online sources. When asked about the reasons for drug use among their peers, curiosity, socializing, and fun/relaxation were the highest rated responses. However, over 58% of respondents stated that feeling pressured was one of the main reasons for drug use, with coping with problems and addiction also being cited as significant factors.

Vaping was found to be the most commonly used substance among young people, with 96% of respondents naming it. This was followed by alcohol, cannabis/weed, and cigarettes. Other drugs such as magic mushrooms, cocaine, and ecstasy were mentioned by fewer than 15% of respondents.

Fiona Spargo-Mabbs OBE, Director, Founder, and mother of the late Daniel Spargo-Mabbs, stated, “Effective drug education needs to cover the full spectrum of the risks and potential consequences of drug use, including the risks of criminality, as well as opportunities to develop the decision-making skills to manage those often complex adolescent social dynamics safely.”

The DSM Foundation was established in 2014 following the death of 16-year-old Daniel Spargo-Mabbs from an accidental overdose of ecstasy. The aim of the foundation is to provide young people with relevant, age-appropriate, and evidence-based information about drugs in order to equip them with the skills to make safe decisions. The foundation offers workshops, resources, and training for schools and colleges, as well as a verbatim play commissioned to tell Dan’s story in the words of his family and friends.

For more information about the DSM Foundation, please visit Media inquiries about this press release or the work of the DSM Foundation can be directed to

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