London is expected to be named among global cities where cocaine can be delivered faster than pizza as smartphones revolutionise drug use, researchers say.
The Global Drug Survey is looking at the impact of encrypted messaging services and other methods that are facilitating faster drug delivery than ever before.
Professor Adam R Winstock, a consultant psychiatrist and founder of the survey, said the spread of CCTV cameras had made traditional street dealing riskier for both buyers and sellers.
“With the darknet facilitating the delivery of drugs direct to people’s letter boxes and encrypted social media platforms allowing people to order in secret, it’s not surprising that there’d be an impact on the speed of delivery,” he added.
“Despite additional charges for swift drug delivery, the attraction of convenience and discretion means it makes sense for dealers to invest in premium delivery services.
“With all this in mind, we decided to look at efficiency and speed of drug delivery across the world. And to make a symbolic comparison, we’re using pizzas as a benchmark and, cocaine as the test.”
Prof Winstock said London is projected to be one of the cities where cocaine delivery is faster than the popular takeaway, alongside New York and Berlin.
The issue is one of a wealth of questions being asked by the survey, which is the largest of its kind in the world and is expected to receive hundreds of thousands of responses from dozens of countries.
Respondents are being invited to contribute to the Global Drug Survey, which is being supported by The Independent as a media partner to improve the knowledge, understanding and safety around taking drugs.
For 2018, researchers are asking people to anonymously describe how they lost their “drug virginity”, see how drinkers are affected by alcohol labels, look at how cannabis smokers can quit and examine drug testing at festivals.
The research team said taking part in the Global Drug Survey is “more important than ever before”, adding: “The world of drugs has changed dramatically in the last decade with advances in technology opening new avenues for risk and risk reduction. “