First Survey of Illegal Drug Users in Mexico City

Carlos Alberto Zamudio Angles and Lluvia Castillo Ortega
Colectivo por una Política Integral hacia las Drogas (CUPIDH)
October 2012

first-survey-mexicoThe principal motivation for implementing this survey was the lack of existing information regarding the relationship between drug users and their social networks. There is a lack of quality indicators that provide detailed information regarding the consumption of drugs, particularly when faced with the traditional dichotomy of user-addict. This dichotomy fails to see the complexity of the consumption of illegal drugs and reiterates the notion that the drug using population will inevitably move into addiction, thus ignoring the diversity of existing patterns of consumption.

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When the socio-economic demographic of drug users was explored, it was found that more than half of all users had some university education, whether that be unfinished or graduated (54%) and more than a quarter indicated that they had some high school education (27.9). This is higher than the general Mexican population. Two out of 3 users surveyed, are engaged in full-time work (69.9%), a little less than half study (43.7%) and 1 out of 5 surveyed both work and study (22%). Only 1 out of 10 users surveyed indicated that they are currently unemployed or working without pay (9.9%).

Considering almost all of those surveyed have some sort of work or daily activity (91.6%), it is recommended that society do a better job of integrating users into the formation of the public policies which affect them.

The survey, which focused on the adult population of Mexico City, consisted of 350 questions and was implemented in February and March 2011. The sample size was 429 people with 310 males and 119 women and with an average age of 28.7.