Perceptions of the Seriousness of Different Addictive Behaviors in the United Kingdom.

Publication date: Feb 28, 2024

Background: Societal beliefs about the seriousness of different addictions were assessed in the United Kingdom (UK). Methods: An online panel, conducted in 2021 and sampled to be representative of the UK general population 18 years and over (N = 1499), was conducted and asked participants their views regarding the seriousness of different societal problems, including various addictive behaviors. Results: Cannabis was ranked as the least serious of the addictive behaviors. Other illicit drug use (cocaine, amphetamine, heroin) was rated as the most serious of addictive behaviors. None of the addictive behaviors were rated as being as serious a problem to society as environmental damage, violent crime, poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: Ratings of cannabis use were not as expected and stand in contrast to the current UK policy on cannabis use. In addition, the UK policy on alcohol consumption contrasts with societal concerns about alcohol use.

Concepts Keywords
18years Alcohol
Cocaine attitudes’ epidemiological surveys
Covid gambling
Environmental illicit drugs
Pandemic medical drugs
United Kingdom


Type Source Name
disease MESH Addictive Behaviors
disease VO population
drug DRUGBANK Medical Cannabis
drug DRUGBANK Cocaine
drug DRUGBANK Amphetamine
drug DRUGBANK Diamorphine
disease MESH violent crime
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
disease MESH gambling

Original Article

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