More than half of the survey respondents (54 per cent) indicated that they had used drugs in the past twelve months (weed and alcohol not included). Among male students, a majority of 64 per cent said they had taken drugs, as opposed to 44 per cent of female respondents. The most popular drugs were XTC and MDMA. The survey also shows that there is a relatively significant group of regular cocaine, ritalin and laughing gas users: 4 per cent of survey respondents said they used cocaine once or more than once per month.

Differing cultures

The popularity of drugs seems to differ from faculty to faculty. At ESE, ESHCC, ESSB and RSM, the clear majority of respondents admitted to using or having used drugs, whereas at Erasmus MC, ESHPM and ESL, drug users were a minority. No hard conclusions can be drawn about drug use at the other institutes we looked at (ISS, IHS, ESPhil, and EUC) since the number of respondents was too small.

The survey showed that the frequency of drug use does not increase over the years, as students get older. Approximately 49 per cent of first-year students admitted to taking or having taken drugs. This level rose to 58 per cent for second-year students, but did not increase after that. The differences between the more advanced students were so slight they are not statistically significant.

Survey design

A total of 1,584 students completed the on-line survey on EM’s website, including 800 men and 768 women (16 respondents refrained from indicating their gender). All faculties were represented among the respondents.

This week EM will publish several stories about student drug use and its consequences. On Thursday we will release more figures and responses obtained from EM’s major drug use survey.