In September of 2008, the Hampshire DAAT set in motion the first questionnaire for their Drug Market Profile. These profile questionnaires were intended to gather information regarding the drug status across Hampshire. There was a wide range of responses that were received that provided knowledge and perceptions of the trends and changes in drug use and drug abuse.
Responses were distributed pretty evenly from across the county but it wasn't possible to be specific for placing geographic boundaries. Responses related to the current time, September 2008 or within the previous 12 months. The county was then broken into these categories, North East, North West, Central Hants, South East and South West for the purpose of their report.
Heroin was becoming a little harder to come by so the availability was reduced, partially due to the quality risks. This was true across the county. The demand for illegal methadone would increase due to this. The fact that heroin was harder to come by, the market for cocaine seemed to increase. Because the dealers of cocaine seemed to be more business-like compared to heroin dealers, there was a noticeable change in how the market was being run.
In the South East, it appeared there was a shortage of crack which could have had something to do with the cocaine market starting to establish. Alcohol seemed to be commonly used as a substitute or enhancer to alternatives.
Subutex which is also referred to as Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opiate. Generally this drug is used to treat addictions to narcotics. This drug was starting to show itself across most of the areas. All of the areas reported a pretty good increase in the use of cocaine, especially among the young people probably because the prices were dropping. Crack showed signs of being the most prevalent in the South East and North East parts of the county.
Ecstasy showed signs of decreasing but the study suggest MDMA powder is replacing ecstasy use. The adults and young people seemed to be responsible for the increase in Amphetamine abuse but Benzodiazepines are for the most part used by the adults in the Central and North areas. These were available through the internet. Prescription drug use showed signs of increase in most areas; the young people seemed to go toward the anti-depressant use as well as the homeless in the South West.
Cannabis (marijuana) market also fluctuated, but the abuse of marijuana is still a concern because it's usually the first drug of choice when experimenting with first time drug use. The study showed that anti-depressants or MDMA were used as alternatives to cannabis or marijuana use.
Steroid use increased in the North East and North West along with an increase of Ketamine abuse either by itself or mixed with 2CB which is a synthetic psychedelic-entactogen that is similar to ecstasy.
The Adult Drug Treatment Plan of 2009-2010 suggests that Hampshire is the third largest shire county in England and that it has the second largest drug user population in the South East region. The focus of their commissioning strategy for 2009-2010 is: