GDS: the world’s biggest drug survey


GDS uses an anonymous online survey to conduct the world’s biggest drug survey. The annual GDS survey runs from the middle of November each year for approximately 6 weeks. We partner with global media giants to act as hubs to promote our research, and then as vehicles to share our findings with the general public

Our last two surveys have each received over 100,000 responses. GDS has invested heavily in 2016 in responsive web design and data capture technology to support continuous data submission and improve the experience of our participants. GDS2017, launching November 9th 2016, is predicted to receive over 250,000 responses. A full critique of our methodology including limitations can be found here

Survey design

The Core Research Team, informed by discussions with the GDS network, oversees the curation, content and analysis of the annual Global Drug Survey each year. GDS uses a core set of drug history and demographic variables each year to allow trend monitoring within defined sub-groupings. The inclusion of standard demographic variables allows comparison to other sources of drug use data, such as national household surveys and treatment data-sets. Starting with a universal drug screen, the survey then adjusts to ensure only sections relevant to each person’s recent drug use experience is displayed.

Is there a country you are interested in that isn’t listed above, or you would like your country to join GDS? Email us: