Almost a fifth of young Brits took mystery drugs in 2013

Some 16.5 per cent of Brits in their teens and early 20s decided to take a mysterious white powder last year, without knowing what it was, a new survey reveals.

According to telegraph.co.uk, the Global Drugs Survey shows that young Brits are more likely to take unknown drugs than people in any other country. When all ages are taken into account, around 11 per cent of Brits took a mysterious white powder last year, in comparison, other countries averaged between just five - six per cent.

Dr Adam R Winstock, a consultant psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London and founder of the survey, says it's common for people in Europe to be brought up with the idea that drinking alcohol is just a part of a wider social activity.

"In the UK, for a significant number of people it is an activity in itself," he explains. "Intoxication becomes an isolated source of pleasure, so maybe we're more ready to ignore the risks in pursuing it.

He adds that some 80 per cent of the people that chose to try a unknown white powder were also drunk or already on drugs beforehand.

"The worry here is the huge variation in what those powders could be - from mephedrone to ketamine and cocaine. You don't know what that's going to do to you or how long the effects are going to last."

People in the UK are also more likely to risk buying drugs over the internet. Some 22.1 per cent of respondents say they have purchased a substance online at some point in their lives, reports globaldrugssurvey.com.