As crime plummets in Scotland, BBC Scotland News resorts to misrepresentations of research findings in the 2018 Global Drug Survey to suggest another ‘crisis’ in Scotland. Headlined in TV broadcasts throughout the morning and online, as:
‘Drug users in Scotland ‘consume most cocaine’ in one session’
and leading with:
‘Drug users in Scotland consume the most cocaine in a single session, according to a worldwide survey of drug-taking habits. The 2018 Global Drug Survey looked at the recreational drug use of 130,000 people across 44 countries. In Scotland the amount of the drug consumed per session was more than double the global average. Researchers, who quizzed 15,000 cocaine users, said the drug can be delivered “more quickly than a pizza” in Glasgow.’
BBC Scotland have either misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented the findings.
First, on the third page of the report, we find this careful disclaimer by the authors:
‘Participation is voluntary. Our survey is not a general population survey and should not be used to determine the prevalence of drug use within a population.’
With regard to the BBC’s claim that ‘the amount of the drug consumed per session was more than double the global average’, this is not reliable because we don’t know how many Scots responded as a percentage of the overall population, we do not know how representative they are of the overall drug-taking population, we do not know if they had a tendency to ‘brag’ about doses or whether they were telling the truth and we don’t know how pure the doses are in different countries. Could the Scots cocaine-users who did respond be a bit more gallus and prone to exaggerate their consumption? Could the typical dose in Scotland be known to be weaker than elsewhere?
By ignoring the reservations declared by GDS on page three and then using certain language such as Drug users in Scotland consume the most cocaine and In Scotland the amount of the drug consumed per session was more than double the global average, BBC Scotland are effectively using lies to deceive and to panic their audience.
Also, in saying Researchers, who quizzed 15,000 cocaine users, when in fact the users merely completed an online form in an ‘encrypted anonymous web survey’, the reporter has misled the reader into thinking the research was more valid than it could be – quiz 15 000 users? How many researchers did they hire?
Footnote: Is this the real news story in the research findings?
UK among world’s biggest buyers of drugs on dark web as illicit trade grows, survey finds