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Barcelona Is The Cocaine Capital Of Europe According To New Study

Barcelona Is The Cocaine Capital Of Europe According To New Study

There were a lot of Swiss cities that made up the top 10 and there was an interesting inclusion from the UK

Mike Wood

Mike Wood

While many people would consider the UK to have streets dripping with the devil's dust, it appears one of Spain's most popular destinations has more...way more.

A new study released with this week has found Barcelona is actually Europe's capital of cocaine. The EU Drugs Agency report revealed the Catalan city consumed an average of 965.2mg of the drug per 1000 residents every single day.

That's a lot of coke.

Incredibly, Switzerland had a huge amount of entries, with Zürich, St Gallen, Geneva, Basel and Berne all placing in the top ten. In a surprising twist, however, Bristol was the highest-ranking and only UK city, with 754.7mg per 1000 citizens.

It's an interesting angle considering many would assume London would take the crown for the most amount of Charlie in Britain and yet here we are.


The study was based on examinations of drug residue in used water, which is a scientifically-based method of discerning the prevalence of drug use.

"Wastewater analysis is a rapidly developing scientific discipline with the potential for monitoring real-time data on geographical and temporal trends in illicit drug use," said the authors of the study.

It involves sampling a source of wastewater, such as a sewage, as it comes through a wastewater treatment plant. This allows scientists to estimate the quantity of cocaine consumed by a community by measuring the levels of drugs in people's urine.

Barcelona's levels for 2017 are the highest since the EU began testing the water supply seven years ago.


Funnily enough, Zurich would top the list if only the weekend was taken into account, but it seems like people in Spain enjoy the sesh seven days a week. But it's worth keeping in mind that obviously the researchers aren't able to distinguish between tourists and residents - and we all know Barcelona gets its fair share of tourists.

The study also considered other drugs, with some results more surprising than others.

It should come as no shock that Amsterdam lead Europe in consumption of MDMA, with the Dutch city being joined by Eindhoven and Utrecht in the top five consumers of ecstasy. Nearby Antwerp in Belgium was also listed highly, while clubbing capital Berlin was in sixth place, followed again by Barcelona.

More surprising were the results for crystal meth consumption, which saw several impoverished cities in eastern Germany rank highly.

Chemnitz, Erfurt, Dresden and Magdeburg all made the top 10, with Nuremburg, also making the list. Crystal meth had previously been centred on the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which border the affected areas of Germany.

Featured Image Credit: Creative Commons

Topics: Europe, Barcelona, Research, Interesting, Drug, Bristol, Cocaine, Spain, Community