Fifty-eight per cent of respondents to B&T’s recent online industry drug survey admitted to using cocaine, making it the number one drug of choice amongst Adlanders.
The survey – completed by over 500 B&T’s online readers – found that half of respondents used marijuana and 35 per cent were regular ecstasy users.
The full results of the survey will be published in the next print edition of B&T out next week.
However, it should be noted that 20 per cent said they never used drugs and the results need to be put into context in that the survey was primarily filled out by people with a predilection to recreational drug use and not the industry as a whole.
That said, a quarter of respondents agreed that there was a drug problem in the media and advertising industries, while some 17 per cent said the industry needed a stronger stance on drugs and better drug education.
The ad industry has a long-held reputation for cocaine use but drug addiction expert Dr Matthew Frei believes coke – and all recreational drugs, for that matter – aren’t necessarily used more in Adland over any other industry; however, he does concede that the industry possibly has a more liberal stance to drugs meaning they’re more out in the open than other industries.
“When there’s drug use by your peers, your colleagues there’ll be a lot more acceptance,” Dr Frei told B&T.
“There’s a number of drivers for drug use at work and one of those is what you see your peers are doing and so, yes, if it’s a cultural norm in that industry then it will be more widespread.”
Frei also believed that media attracted young people with disposable incomes – two things that make the industry ripe for recreational drugs. He also add there was no evidence that one industry was likely to abuse a particular drug over another because there’d never been any solid research into it.
“I think very few industries want to shine a light on their drug use,” Frei added.
The good news, however, is that in most instances people experiment with drugs in their 20s but simply grow tired of it and stop by their 30s when mortgages and family takeover in importance.
“Most people simply grow out of it, it’s no longer rewarding and they stop without too many problems. The reason for using drugs is no longer there and many people can see the problems coming and they just don’t want those problems,” Frei said.