Cocaine abuse rising among young women
Cocaine abuse has become the fastest growing drug problem among young women after addiction levels increased by almost two thirds.
A total of 1,261 women of child bearing age needed treatment for cocaine abuse last year compared to just 790 four years ago.
The figures related to women aged between 18 and 35 and signal a worrying trend in more and more females abusing hard drugs.
There was an even faster growth among females aged between 18 and 25 saw an 80 per cent increase over the period from 329 to 592.
It will fuel concerns of a "ladette" culture which have grown around increasing alcohol abuse among young women.
Figures in the summer showed the number of women involved in alcohol-related trouble has increased by almost a third in two years.
Overall in 2008/09 some 1,645 women needed treatment in England for cocaine abuse, according to the National Treatment Agency.
That was an increase of more than half on the 1,064 in 2005/06.
There were also 15,440 women needing treatment for heroin and crack dependence, a decline of eight per cent since 2005/06.
Rosanna O'Connor, a director for the NTA, said: "It is good news that women are turning away from heroin and crack, the most problematic drugs, but we are concerned by the increase in cocaine dependence, although is consistent with national data charting the increased use of cocaine in recent years."
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 2:24PM GMT 02 Dec 2009