Surge in cocaine use sparks medical review

The UK's drug advisers are to review the effects of cocaine after describing as ‘deeply concerning' figures showing big jumps in its usage...

The UK’s drug advisers are to review the effects of cocaine after describing as ‘deeply concerning’ figures showing big jumps in its usage.

The Daily Telegraph
reports that the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) said use of the ‘very harmful’ drug had increased five-fold among 16 to 59-year-olds during the past 12 years and the purity of street samples had decreased.

Writing to the Home Secretary, the council’s chairman Professor Les Iversen said he hoped his review would ‘counteract the increasingly common misapprehension that cocaine is a relatively safe drug‘.

His letter cites recent British Crime Survey statistics showing that 6.6% of 16 to 24-year-olds used cocaine last year, compared to 1.3% in 1996.

But it’s not just teenagers and young adults – usage among those aged 16 to 59 also jumped from 0.6% to 3% during the same period.

Professor Iverson also said that along with the drug‘s increased usage, the purity of samples had been decreasing thanks to more cutting agents being added.

The professor wrote: ‘Cocaine is a very harmful drug to individuals and more broadly society and evidence of the continued increasing prevalence of cocaine use is deeply concerning.’

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