VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It takes only 10 minutes for a young drug user to find a fix. That’s the finding of new research from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

The survey questioned drug users in the 14 to 26 age group. Most of the respondents reported that their drug of choice was no more than 10 minutes away.

Dr. Evan Wood is one of the lead authors of the study and says the results are shocking, noting that it takes more time for most people to go to the liquor store and choose a legal high.

“It would probably take me more than 10 minutes to go and be able to buy a bottle of wine,” Wood says. “That’s, I think, the most surprising thing.”

He points out the US declared the war on drugs 40 years ago, but that hasn’t helped at-risk youth avoid falling into drug use.

Wood says most Canadians are probably unaware of how easy it is for young people to find illicit drugs, anything from marijuana to cocaine to heroin to crystal meth. And Wood believes it shows that Canada’s war on drugs is a losing cause.

He adds the money spent on prisons and trying to cut the supply of drugs would be more wisely spent on rehabilitation programs and community outreach efforts.