Methodology

What drugs do you cover?

At the moment there are 9 drugs meters — alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, amphetamine, GHB, ketamine and mephedrone — with more in development

How does drugs meter work?

Drugs meter asks you simple questions about your drug use and provides immediate personalised feedback, along with the chance to check your answers and get further information. Each drugs meter takes about 3-8 minutes to complete

How do we calculate how much you use?

Based on how many days a month you use and how much you usually use in a session, we can estimate your last month’s use and spend — which you can adjust up and down until it’s right for you

How do we adjust how much you use based on your individual make up?

The Personal Risk Adjustor Tool (PRAT) is a set of simple questions that adjust the risks associated with the amount of a drug you are using, based on your unique personal profile

So if you have a particular risk (such as a history of depression or kidney problems) and it is relevant to the drug you have taken, we recalculate your drug use upwards as the risks you face will be higher

As everybody is different and reacts to drug use in different ways, the PRAT means that everyone gets feedback that reflects their own personal use and also their own personal risk factors — making it a more honest and accurate reflection

While the PRAT is only a rough guide and cannot tell you if your use of drugs is safe, it is drawn from medical scales and gives an insight in to how vulnerable you may be to health related harms. However it cannot tell you anything about other high-risk behaviours such as sex, driving, violence and variations in drug purity

Drugs meter also offers a rough assessment whether your drug use is causing you any problems using the Drug Associated Problem (DAP) tool, which asks a series of short questions to situate your use on a problem scale drawn from standard medical scales

For more information on the PRAT and the DAP please visit www.globaldrugsurvey.com

Who do you compare my drug use to?

We compare you drug use against anonymous data from other people who have also filled in the drugs meter for that substance

We started with 13,000 people who had given anonymous data during the Global Drug Survey 2012, and the pool now increases every time someone completed the drugs meter. This growing database makes the comparisons more accurate as more people join, giving you the chance to compare yourself to others based on a range of demographic features

At the moment we can only allow you to compare yourself against everyone from around the world, and by gender and age. However, once we hit 50,00 you will be able to choose your peer group using your own characteristics — gender, country, age, sexuality and musical taste

What do you do with my information?

Your information always remains anonymous and is pooled in a big secure database that is stored separately to other GDS content. We never ask for your personal details and cannot store any personal data or trackable information ? so you cannot ever get in to trouble for using the drugs meter

We use your data to help inform charities, NGOs and public health bodies who work in the drugs field, and in the future we may also promote geographically relevant contact details for local drug and health services? such as links to sexual health clinics or drug services

For further information, see our terms and conditions