COCAINE use in Queensland has filtered down from the socialites to suburbia, with a new report showing "stressed-out housewives" in some of the southeast's more affluent suburbs have become regular users.
Ahead of the release of new findings from the Crime and Misconduct Commission on illicit drugs, intelligence director Chris Keen confirmed that cocaine use in Queensland "is more prevalent over a wider range of demographics".
A police source also told The Sunday Mail: "More people are using it, but the more affluent can afford to use it more often."
The police source said cocaine is no longer a wealthy socialite's drug and is widely embraced across the population.
He said it currently costs $350 for a gram of cocaine as opposed to ecstasy, which costs about $40 a tablet.
The latest data adds fuel to the reports that the over-stretched well-heeled middle classes are turning to the stimulant to "power them up" over hectic weekends. "Sadly there is less stigma now associated with drug-taking," Mr Keen said. "Recreational drug use has become very normalised.
"Cocaine is no longer reserved for millionaires and rock stars."
Drug Arm counsellor Richard Norman said it was no surprise that cocaine is becoming more accepted in the suburbs.
"I could see how stressed-out, middle-class housewives would single out cocaine to help them perform better at work, look after a family and house and still have the energy to party," he said.
"While cocaine is expensive, it is not out of reach for the middle classes with two incomes."
Last week authorities claimed to have smashed a big cocaine trafficking syndicate on the Gold Coast.
The 13-month investigation highlights how the insidious white powder has become ingrained in the southeast corner.
Police also told The Sunday Mail raids on drug dealers who supply the southeast area are increasingly being found with a variety of illicit drugs.
"Raids on some dealers who supply nightclubs, for instance, show they have cannabis, ice, coke (cocaine), ecstasy and fantasy," the police officer said.
"They are like commodities brokers."
Figures from the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey showed that cocaine use doubled between 2004 and 2007 and the new CMC figures look set to reveal further rises
Jackie Sinnerton and Paula Doneman
October 31, 2009
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