Secret stoners? Who do cannabis users tell about their use and how has law change impacted upon disclosure and help seeking?

Dr Adam R Winstock
Founder Global Drug survey and Consultant Psychiatrist

Many people are proud of their drug use. For many it can define who they are among both their social circle and in their own mind for a period of their life. This is perhaps more true for cannabis users that for any other drug. Not only is cannabis the most widely used illegal drug but is regarded as one of the safest and many non-users including the mass media regard its use as less of a mortal sin than the use of cocaine or heroin for example. With about one third of adults in many countries that will take part in this year’s Global Drug Survey having ever used cannabis it’s also pretty likely that most people will know someone who has used cannabis and for the most part that person was probably pretty normal. But despite regulation change in many countries and its appearance on front covers of newspapers and social media being awash with images and people shouting about their use of weed with pride, affection and perceived indifference to the outside the world, there are many cannabis users who hide their use from others in their life. For personal or professional reasons many people probably just keep quiet about their use. To our knowledge no group has ever sought to assess to what extent cannabis users hide their use from others in their life. No one has asked the question – who knows about your cannabis use and who do you hide it from? Until now. So if you love your weed but are frightened of what others might think so you hide your stash, bath your eyes in ‘Clear Eyes’, wash your hands with lemon soap and have your windows open when its blowing a snowstorm outside your house we’d love you ‘to secretly fill’ in this year’s Global Drug Survey. Remember its anonymous and confidential and we don’t even collect your IP address. Launching Nov 12th 2016, GDS2017 will be the biggest drug survey of all time. We’ll share the results with everyone in May 2017. So check there’s no one outside your door or looking over your shoulder and go to now.