Cocaine use trebles over two decades

We're taking a lot of cocaine
Cocaine use has trebled (Picture: Stock image/OcusFocus)

Cocaine use has more than trebled in the past two decades and it is no longer the preserve of ‘bankers and celebrities’, a report says.

The class-A drug is said to have spread to all areas of society following the emergence of cheaper versions often mixed with cutting agents.

Users now include ‘hard-pressed’ people as well as the ‘comfortably off’ who live outside cities.

There is also a new phenomenon of people aged up to 54 taking cocaine – a trend not seen with other drugs.

MORE: Teenagers thought they stole cocaine – turned out to be father’s cremated remains

 

Using crime figures for England and Wales, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said 0.6 per cent of people aged 16 to 59 took cocaine in 1996.

In 2008/09, the level hit a peak of three per cent – or 885,000 people.

‘Consumption of powdered cocaine in the UK has changed radically over the past two decades,’ said Prof Les Iversen of the council.

‘Once characterised as the preserve of wealthy bankers and celebrities, our research shows that a cheaper, low- purity version has permeated society far more widely.’

MORE: Man calls police to tell them his wife stole his cocaine

He added: ‘I believe that cocaine is firmly embedded in UK society.’

The council pointed out that only a small minority of people use the drug and warned an anti-cocaine education campaign could ‘backfire’.

The report for government ministers was carried out in response to concerns around the increasing prevalence of the drug and the perception that it is safe.

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12 March 2015 | 10:07 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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