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To set the record straight - Lancashire police reported £1.25 - £3 per tab NOT US.


We were asked by the media if this was true. We stated that our survey data for 2001 showed national average prices as an average £6.24 per tab.


At the moment we are inputting the data from our 2002 survey and initial indications are that prices have dropped further still to as low as £3 per tab in certain regions. This 2002 data is provisional information, as we have yet to complete the inputting of the survey. This will be completed and published by early 2003 and covers all illegal drugs, not just ecstasy.


Also it was reported that Government bases its drugs policy on our statistics. Again this is journalist interpretation. What we have done is produce volumes of evidence which was then submitted and considered, to various Home Affairs and House of Lords - select comiittees. Copies of which are on our website. We were not the only ones to submit such evidence, there were many others.


We do not get funding from, nor are we commissioned by the Government to produce such information. We are completely independent. Attached is our press release for the 2001 prices (word doc & pdf format). This will give you detailed information, graphs and background info about IDMU.


As for other drugs, the recent reported increases in Crack Cocaine use follow a sharp drop in the availability of
amphetamine sulphate. In the late 1990s amphetamine purities had been increasing to around 15-18%, but fell sharply in the final quarter of 1999 and in 2000 were down to 4-6%. One of the reasons why Crack had never
really taken off in the UK was readily available supplies of cheap amphetamine, which lasts for hours, compared
to a few minutes only for crack. Amphet has always been a more 'cost-effective' hit. The successes of police
and customs in disrupting the availability of amphetamine in the UK may well have had unforeseen consequences.

Below is our original press release regarding the 2001 prices:

UK Drug Prices reach record low

Cannabis Consumption reaches record high

UK Cannabis Production at record levels

2001 IDMU Drug User Survey

First results from the 2001 IDMU Regular Users Survey show a continuing fall in British cannabis prices, and evidence that cannabis users are smoking more as a result.

Cannabis Market Shares - Domestically-produced cannabis now accounts nearly half the UK market, largely displacing imported herbal cannabis, and Moroccan resin (commonly known as soap-bar), which dominated the UK market during the 1990s, has been overtaken as the market leader by home-produced Skunk.

By 2001 domestically-produced cannabis accounted for nearly half of UK consumption, the market share of skunk now exceeding that of Moroccan (soap-bar) resin for the first time. Skunk was not specifically mentioned in 1984, although Home Grown then took up around 10% of the UK market, and leaf material still adds roughly 1/4 to the recent figures for skunk consumption. In 1984 Lebanese was the most common form of cannabis resin, although this has been rarely seen in the UK since the late 1980s, to the extent that it was removed from the surveys from 2000 on, although press reports suggest production in the Beka a valley to have resumed recently..

It is interesting to note that average monthly cannabis use rose sharply in 2001, accelerating the trend since the mid 1990s, which may reflect price elasticity, as respondents are still spending similar amounts, but are now able to buy more cannabis for their money. Note: The 2002 results should show whether the high level of use in the 2001 survey was a statistical blip (due to the smaller sample and narrower regional user base) or a continuation of the upward trend.

Cannabis prices rose sharply in 1985-86 and peaked in the late 1980s, but have been falling steadily since the early 1990s, and more substantially since 1998. The past four years have shown a steady shift of the deal price from 15 down to 10, such that by 2001 10 was overwhelmingly the most common price.

Other than competition between resin and the higher-quality skunk cannabis, there would appear to be no clear reason why cannabis prices have fallen so sharply, for instance there is no evidence of reduced demand for the drug " indeed consumption has been rising since 1998, It is possible that cannabis importers and distributors have become more professional and efficient in their trafficking methods.

Although prices for amphetamine have remained relatively stable, average purities increased four fold between 1994 and 1998/9. From 1998 onwards, respondents were asked to distinguish between low quality (street) and higher quality (base) amphetamine, partly responsible for the apparent fall in (particularly) ounce prices, and subjective ratings of the drug.

Cocaine prices have remained broadly stable, an ounce (28g) would typically sell for around 600 (range 500-1600), with 50 overwhelmingly the most common gram price, although by 2001 the price trend again appears downwards.

Heroin prices have fallen, and the size of bags has increased, to the extent that buying in 10 bags gives gram-equivalent prices of 50-100 - heroin purities vary considerably, from around 15% up to 70% plus - such variations arise within the country of manufacture, as there is little evidence of the drugs being systematically cut in the UK market (average purities from police and customs seizures are similar).

Ecstasy prices continue to fall substantially, to the extent that individual tablets now sell most commonly for 5, and even small quantities can be obtained for around 2 each. This may be due to a combination of reduced demand (via health concerns about serotonin depletion) or more efficient distribution methods resulting in a saturated market. Although there were high ratings of the drug in 99-00 suggesting the image of the drug to be improving rather than deteriorating in the eyes of users as a whole, the significant drop in 2001 suggests the health message may finally be getting through.

LSD has fallen in popularity, with fewer police seizures, and fewer price reports, slightly higher than more recent years. The user-ratings of LSD have been falling steadily.


IDMU REGULAR USERS SURVEYS

UK Drugs Price Trends - 1984-2001

1984

1994

1995

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Moroccan 8th

7.00

14.41

14.39

14.06

13.64

12.88

12.01

11.29

Moroccan oz

-

88.34

89.77

85.09

82.95

75.02

65.91

58.41

Moroccan 9oz

-

629.26

599.35

636.72

570.81

487.29

422.63

366.55

Moroccan Market share

9.9%

34.7%

28.1%

49.2%

36.0%

38.8%

31.9%

33.5%

No. reporting (Maroc)

n/a

410

98

328

422

647

472

140

Skunk 8th

-

21.26

20.21

20.63

20.82

20.98

20.70

19.94

Skunk oz

-

128.79

131.62

128.00

133.88

127.65

124.39

116.20

Skunk 9oz

-

888.85

875.00

881.54

923.38

856.40

828.64

767.07

Skunk Market share

-

12.9%

17.6%

27.6%

26.7%

31.7%

30.7%

39.1%

No. reporting (skunk)

-

309

52

325

436

673

553

229

Subjective rating (0-10)

 

8.8

8.5

8.8

8.4

8.3

8.4

8.6

Cannabis used/month

29.3g

24.8g

31.3g

23.9g

20.7g

26.9g

31.6g

44.5g

Amphetamine Gram

-

-

8.28

8.07

8.04

8.74

8.43

8.71

Amphetamine Ounce

-

-

99.26

99.24

85.79

83.04

72.88

76.00

Subjective rating (0-10)

-

5.3

5.4

5.6

4.6

4.8

4.5

3.7

No. reporting (amphet)

-

-

97

447

376

504

364

70

Ecstasy tab

-

-

11.65

9.84

9.46

8.38

6.99

6.24

Ecstasy 10 tabs

-

-

87.57

72.66

68.66

64.33

48.75

37.84

Ecstasy 100 tabs

-

-

-

-

469.83

371.67

277.52

176.25

Subjective rating (0-10)

-

6.4

6.8

6.9

6.8

7.1

7.0

6.4

No. reporting (ecstasy)

-

-

108

486

430

541

400

111

LSD tab

-

-

2.99

3.25

3.28

3.26

3.53

3.73

LSD 10 tabs

-

-

20.15

22.78

22.48

27.46

25.82

28.38

LSD 100 tabs

-

-

88.33

124.29

143.11

127.34

146.25

175.00

Subjective rating (0-10)

-

6.9

7.3

7.2

6.7

6.9

6.6

6.2

No. reporting (LSD)

-

-

114

525

409

493

377

77

Cocaine gram

-

-

56.66

50.51

51.92

50.55

49.38

46.20

Subjective rating (0-10)

-

5.5

5.7

6.1

5.7

6.2

5.6

5.0

No. reporting (cocaine)

-

-

50

222

308

406

317

90

Crack Rock

-

-

21.50

21.64

19.38

23.65

20.48

18.91

Subjective rating (0-10)

-

2.1

3.4

2.6

1.8

2.5

2.3

2.1

No. reporting (crack)

-

-

5

36

32

57

47

19

Heroin gram

-

-

83.33

69.69

71.25

56.40

60.00

54.00

Subjective rating (0-10)

-

2.5

2.9

2.7

2.2

3.0

2.4

1.8

No. reporting (heroin)

-

-

9

46

48

87

57

19

Survey Series

n/a

I

II

II

III

IV

V

VI

Total Respondents

607

1333

215

1136

1153

2173

2353

681


Notes for Editors

The Independent Drug Monitoring Unit - I.D.M.U. Ltd is a research consultancy specializing in the study of drug use and the drugs market in the UK. Our mission is to provide accurate, up to date and unbiased information to all parties in the drugs debate, and expert evidence to the Criminal Justiice System.

All data was collected from IDMU surveys using anonymous questionnaires distributed via pop-festivals, cannabis rallies, drug-subculture magazines, and by snowball samples. The 1984 data is derived from Quantitative Assessment of Illicit Substance Use, Atha MJ (1987), Birmingham University.

Respondents were asked to indicate the prices paid for a range of drugs at different market levels, as well as the proportion of different cannabis varieties they has used over the previous year, from which overall market shares were derived.

Subjective Ratings represent the average marks out of 10 ascribed to each drug by survey respondents as a whole (drug users, but not necessarily users of that particular drug)

Number reporting (drug) refers to the maximum number of respondents reporting prices for that drug in the smallest quantities - there may be respondents quoting prices for larger but not smaller quantities who would be unrecorded in these figures. Please note that in 2000 a higher proportion of respondents failed to complete the prices section of the questionnaire (which was on the last page), thus comparisons with the total respondents will be affected by the questionnaire layout, however comparisons of relative numbers reporting different drugs would be a valid exercise.

The 1995 survey was intended to fill the gap from results in 1994, which failed to ask prices for drugs other than cannabis, as this was a substantially smaller sample, more variation is to be expected. The 2001 survey was a relatively small sample compared to recent years, and geographically biased towards London & the South East, and the North West UK, thus the data may be less reliable than in previous years, however as London and the South East tend o have higher prices than the rest of the UK (with drugs, as with other commodities) the continuing fall in drugs prices may be greater over the rest of the UK. As several new questions were introduced in 2001 the same series will continue to be used for the 2002 survey.

Note on NCIS prices: The price lists published periodically by NCIS are supplied to the service by individual police forces (usually a single drugs liaison officer within each force). There is no standardised methodology for recording prices and the nature of price reports to police (i.e. from defendants, informants, test-purchases and/or general market intelligence), which vary considerably from the genuine cannabis ounces to the fictional 10 per gram (cannabis is very rarely sold in grams).

Citation/Release - You may publish statistics and other details provided above, including any graphs derived from the data, provided the source is accredited as Independent Drug Monitoring Unit (www.idmu.co.uk).

All contents of this web site & any links to other sites etc, is for educational & research purposes. IDMU at no time seeks to encourage illegal activities. All sections of this site and its contents are protected under copyright laws. © IDMU Ltd 1994 - 2008