"As in recent years, the second most commonly used drug in the last year among adults aged 16 to 59 was powder cocaine (2.3% in the 2016/17 survey, equating to around 760,000 people). Powder cocaine was also the second most commonly used drug among young adults aged 16 to 24 (4.8% or around 297,000 young adults) after cannabis. Both proportions remained similar to the previous year (2.2% of 16 to 59 year olds and 4.4% of 16 to 24 year olds in the 2015/16 survey). This trend is illustrated in Figure 1.3.
"As in previous years, cannabis was the most commonly used drug in 2016/17, with 6.6 per cent of adults aged 16 to 59 having used it in the last year (around 2.2 million people), similar to the 2015/16 survey (6.5%). However, this is statistically significantly lower than a decade ago (8.2% in 2006/07) and the start of measurement in the survey in 1996 (9.4%). The trend from the 2009/10 survey onwards is relatively flat, remaining between six and seven per cent, as illustrated by Figure 1.2 (see Appendix Table 1.02 for detailed figures).
"There has been a decline in drug use by 11 to 15 year old pupils since 2001. In 2011, 17% of pupils had ever taken drugs, compared with 29% in 2001. There were similar falls in the proportions of pupils who reported taking drugs in the last year and the last month. The decline in the prevalence of drug use parallels the fall in the proportions of pupils who have ever been offered drugs, from 42% in 2001 to 29% in 2011.
" Around one in 25 adults (4.0%) aged 16 to 59 said they had taken a drug in the last month. This equates to around 1.3 million people. The proportion is similar to the previous year (4.3% in the 2015/16 CSEW) and is statistically significantly lower than those observed a decade ago in the 2006/07 survey (6.0%) and when CSEW measurements began in 1996 (6.7%) (Appendix Tables 1.03 and 1.04; Figure 1.5).
"The level of last year ecstasy use by adults aged 16 to 59 in the 2016/17 survey (1.3%, or around 439,000 people) was similar to the previous year (1.5%, or around 492,000 people). There have been small but statistically significant falls compared with a decade ago (1.8% in 2006/07) and the start of measurement by the survey in 1996 (1.7%). Generally, the proportion of 16 to 59 year olds using ecstasy in the last year has been relatively flat throughout the lifetime of the survey, fluctuating between one and two per cent since measurement began in 1996 (Figure 1.4).
"As in previous years, the proportion of young adults aged 16 to 24 taking any drug in the last year was more than double the proportion in the 16 to 59 age group, at 19.2 per cent. This proportion equates to 1.2 million young people. It is this younger age group that largely drives the trend seen in the wider group of adults aged 16 to 59.