Highest Cocaine Use In Europe Is With 16 To 34-Year-Olds In England And Wales
According to a new report published by the EU drugs agency, cocaine use between young adults between the ages of 16 and 34 in England and Wales is the highest in Europe.
A study by the EU drugs agency found, using figures from 2016, found that four percent of 16 to 34-year-olds had taken the class A substance in the previous 12 months.
Four percent might not sound like a lot, but the EU-wide average for European countries for which data was available was less than half of that, at 1.9 percent.
The figures, which were published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) revealed that the only other European countries to report prevalence of cocaine use among young adults of 2.5 percent or more were Denmark, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands.
The data comes at a time when another report, as detailed in The Guardian, revealed that the purity of street cocaine across Europe is at its highest level in a decade. While the EMCDDA study found that the price of cocaine had remained stable, a rise in purity that was first seen in 2010 continued in 2016.
Whether related or not, the study also noted that the number of people seeking treatment for use of the drug is on the rise.
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According to The Guardian, there was a large rise in the number of first-time admissions for specialised treatment relating to cocaine. In 2016 alone, 30,300 people entered treatment for the first time for problems with the drug. That's over a fifth more than in 2014.
Alexis Goosdeel, the director of the EMCDDA, said the report showed Europe was experiencing the consequences of increased cocaine production in South America.
He said: "We must be concerned about the health implications of cocaine use as we are beginning to see some worrying developments in this area, including a larger number of people entering treatment for the first time for cocaine problems."
As the most commonly used illegal drug in Europe, the report estimates that 17 million European adults - those between 15 and 64 - had tried cocaine during their lifetime.
A recent study of drug residues found in the municipal wastewater of 31 European cities revealed an increase in cocaine traces found between 2015 and 2017 in 26 of them.
EMCDDA also warned that there were signs that more people within the EU were producing their own drugs.
Featured Image Credit: PA