Survey adds to global knowledge

The Global Drug Survey, launched in 2010, attracted responses from more than 78,000 people across the world this year - including, for the first time, almost 6000 from New Zealand.

Fairfax Media has joined forces with the survey's creator to help build the largest and most up-to-date picture of our drug and alcohol use and how we compare with the rest of the world.

The independent survey, created by British addiction psychiatrist and researcher Adam Winstock, is run with media partners around the world, including The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald and Spain's largest daily newspaper, Publico.

Winstock said the survey, which began on a smaller scale for dance music magazine Mixmag in 1999, was not a nationally representative sample but represented one of the largest studies of current drug users conducted here.

"The goal was to find a way of capturing what was going on with the majority of people in the world that use drugs, not just that tiny group that seek treatment or end up in prison cells or emergency departments."

It was hoped drug and alcohol users would use the data - alongside free websites and smartphone apps such as drinksmeter.com and drugsmeter.com - to become more informed about their habits.

To check your drug and alcohol use go to www.drinksmeter.com, www.drugsmeter.com and globaldrugsurvey.com/highwaycode

The Dominion Post