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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Saturday May 18, 2024
Saturday May 18, 2024

White Christmas turned cocaine wonderland: UK tops Europe’s drug use charts

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1 in 37 brits dabble in cocaine annually, making UK the cocaine capital of Europe

In a chilling revelation, a recent report indicates that Brits have earned the dubious title of being the biggest cocaine users in Europe, with a staggering 1 in 37 individuals engaging with the drug annually.

Figures from England and Wales reveal that 2.7% of 15 to 64-year-olds partake in cocaine consumption each year, translating to approximately 1.02 million people. The statistics, provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, rank the UK highest in Europe and second out of 41 developed countries globally, only trailing behind Australia at 4.2%.

The gender divide is stark, with one in 26 men admitting to cocaine use compared to one in 63 women.

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Experts attribute the surge in cocaine use to its affordability and accessibility. Professor Ian Hamilton from the University of York notes that the drug has become more cost-effective, with £10 to £20 buying enough for a night out. Moreover, it is readily available in various social settings, from pub toilets and nightclubs to football grounds.

Dr. Niall Campbell, a psychiatrist at the Priory rehab hospital in Roehampton, describes the situation as an “epidemic,” emphasizing that cocaine is no longer confined to the moneyed classes. He draws attention to the drug’s pervasive presence, asserting, “It’s as quick to get cocaine as it is to order a pizza.”

Cocaine, a Class A drug, poses severe health risks, including damage to the heart, lungs, and mental health. Users can face up to seven years in jail for possession and a life sentence for dealing, along with unlimited fines. Recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics revealed a troubling increase in cocaine-related deaths, reaching 872 in 2021.

Switzerland’s contemplation of legalizing cocaine due to its uncontrollable use has stirred debates globally. The UK Home Office emphasizes a comprehensive 10-year drug strategy, backed by a record £3 billion investment, targeting both drug supply and building a robust treatment system.

As the UK grapples with its growing cocaine epidemic, questions arise about the efficacy of current strategies and the need for comprehensive measures to curb the escalating crisis.

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