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Why cocaine is the drug of choice for British youth

  1. Seaquake
    UK tops European cocaine league table

    Levels of cocaine abuse in UK outstrips those in the US, says EU report which also points to 30 new variants of 'legal highs'

    A renewed popularity in cocaine use among young adults over the past year has put the UK at the top of the European "league table" for cocaine abuse and now even outstrips the levels seen in the US, according to the annual report of the EU's drug agency published today.

    The European monitoring centre for drugs and drug abuse also warns that more than 30 new variants of designer drugs or "legal highs" – similar to the banned Spice and mephedrone – have appeared this year.

    The latest figures reported to the EU drugs agency show that a sharp rise in the popularity of cocaine may be taking place in the UK with nearly 15% of all 18- to 34-year-olds reporting having tried the drug at least once.

    The persistent nature of the cocaine problem in the UK is underlined by the fact that Britain has featured with Spain at or near the top of the European cocaine "league" in six out of the last seven years.

    But the latest figures show that the UK has moved sharply ahead in 2009 with 6.2% of those aged 15 to 34 saying they have used cocaine in the last year. This compares with 4.5% of young US adults in the same age group

    They EU's drug agency also warns that there are worrying signs that use of crack cocaine is creeping up in parts of London.

    The Lisbon-based agency says that the use of cocaine in the UK and Spain, which has the second highest level in the EU, increased dramatically in the late 1990s before moving towards a more stable but upward trend throughout the last decade.

    The agency's annual report says that cocaine use across the 27 EU countries has increased markedly since the 1990s and is now the second most commonly used illicit substance after cannabis with more than 3 million young adults using it every year.

    Cannabis use is generally stabilising or on a downward trend across most of western Europe, including the UK, but levels are now rising sharply in eastern Europe particularly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Estonia, adds the agency.

    The European drugs experts also report that a record number of new substances – many of them "legal highs" were reported in 2009 through the EU's early warning system. Twenty two new psychoactives were officially notified to Europol for the first time – the largest number in a single year and double the number in 2008. So far 31 new substance mainly "designer drugs" similar to Spice and mephedrone that imitate either the effect of ecstasy or cannabis. The newer products that have appeared this year tend to imitate cocaine and amphetamines in their effects.

    The annual report says that Britain's decision to ban mephedrone in April has wiped out the boom in UK-based online sites selling the drug - it record 77 at the peak in March this year. But the majority have now ceased to exist. The 2010 survey shows only 20 remaining UK-based online "legal high" sites and the Netherlands has taken over as the online designer-drug capital of Europe with twice the number.

    The increase in popularity in cocaine across Europe has been matched by an associated rise in cocaine-related deaths with around 1,000 reported annually and the number in the UK doubling from 161 in 2003 to 325 in 2008 although there was a small decline last year.

    Experts warn that increasingly sophisticated techniques are being used to conceal and smuggle cocaine into Europe from South America. They cite one technique which involves incorporating cocaine base or hydrochloride into "carrier materials" such as beeswax, fertiliser or clothing and then setting clandestine "extraction" laboratories within the EU. Thirty such "extraction" laboratories were uncovered in Spain in 2008.

    "Too many Europeans still regard cocaine use as a relatively harmless accompaniment to a successful lifestyle," said Wolfgang Götz, director of the European drug agency. "But we are progressively seeing that, as cocaine consumption grows, so too does its impact on public health. Not only can use of this drug escalate quickly, but it can also result in fatalities, even when intake is occasional and doses are low."

    The annual report also highlights the increased use of two "cutting agents" to increase the market value of cocaine. The EU drug experts are particularly worried about the health effects of levamisole, which is usually used to worm cattle, and phenacetin, an analgesic.

    Typical cocaine users in Britain are now just as likely to be poor, working-class young men as wealthy City traders. The latest school surveys show that 6% of 15- to 16-year-olds have tried the drug. A survey on the online dance music magazine Mixmag found that 22% of British clubbers reported having taken the drug during the evening.

    The EU drugs agency says that overall heroin use still accounts for the greatest share of drug-related deaths across Europe with the number of "problem drug users" cautiously estimated at 1.35 million. A growing number – 670,000 at the last count in 2008 – are receiving substitute treatment, often methadone, which has seen a tenfold increase since 1993 and is now available in all 27 EU countries.

    Alan Travis in Lisbon
    guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 10 November 2010 10.02 GMT

    from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/10/uk-tops-cocaine-abuse-league-table


  1. Spucky
  2. buseman
    Re: UK tops European cocaine league table

  3. Balzafire
    [imgl=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=17790&stc=1&d=1289496413[/imgl]Few will be surprised to read that Britain – or rather England and Wales – is now the cocaine capital of Europe and that our young people’s usage of the drug exceeds even the USA. Cocaine is in many ways the perfect drug for hedonistic, booze-soaked young Britons. It is the solipsist’s drug par excellence because while the user is under its influence nothing really matters other than what’s going on in his/her head. And of course it goes well with booze, which is a perennial favourite with the young.

    The thing is, not only has use of the drug reached unprecedented levels, but so has toleration of its use. Cocaine permeates all classes from top to bottom. It used to be a drug of the rich and successful, but no longer. Price has a lot to do with it: as we reported last year, the stuff’s cheaper than ever: a line might work out at as cheap as £1, with an average price of between £2 and £4. Compare that with the average price of a pint of lager of around £2.75, and glass of wine at £3.50.

    Why has the price fallen? Well, basically, it must be supply and demand: clearly attempts to restrict supply are having only limited success. But evidence also points to the reduced potency of some of the powder that is sold. It’s true that there are myths about dilution of drugs, and not all illegal drugs are adulterated by dealers. But when police seize packages of cocaine they do often find local anaesthetics, like procaine or lignocaine/lidocaine, also caffeine and “speed” (amphetamine) – which keep you awake – as well as mannitol, lactose and other inert fillers.

    What’s more, samples may contain substances that are dangerous in themselves – such as levamisole, or worming powder, which has caused cases of agranulocytosis. No one is quite sure why dealers would lace their product with nasty chemicals that could hasten the demise of their customers. Maybe they’ve got so many customers they don’t care if they lose a few.

    Cocaine used to be have a mystique about it, it was considered a drug for “winners”. Increasingly, however, the unsuccessful are taking it up with enthusiasm. The reason is not hard to see: it boosts the availability of the reward chemical dopamine, and so, for a brief moment, deceives the user into feeling successful. Of course that sensation – of being an invincible superstar, of winning a prize, of receiving your best-ever birthday present – is an illusion. And in any case the chemical lift in mood is short-lived, and swiftly followed – for heavy users – by the plunge downwards into depression, for which the only antidote is another, bigger dose. Sooner or later, the cocaine user will start to feel cheated. He’ll find that no amount of drug can (in Emily Dickinson’s words) “still the tooth / That nibbles at the soul”.

    By Andrew M Brown
    November 11th, 2010
  4. chaos69
    Re: UK tops European cocaine league table

    wow didn't expect australia to be that far up the list! I guess sydney must be making up for the rest of the country. Wasn't that long ago it was nearly unheard of. Though i guess swic doesn't really hang with the rich much. If coke is that high imagine how high ecstasy in oz.
  5. mickey_bee
    Surprisingly rational article, swim's pleasantly surprised.

    However, he has to say that with the purity as low as it's been the last year or so, will cocaine soon fall out of favour amongst the casual users?

    Swim has many friends who would take cocaine regularly, however, for months now, they've almost all abstained, simply due to the lack of any decent product. They simply cite it as throwing your money away.
    At current purity levels, swim would be very surprised if use remained at these reportedly high levels. That is certainly not the trend within swims circles.

    What used to be cocaine and e's then turned into cocaine and mdma powder(in the pursuit of actual ecstasy once more), and then turned to ketamine/mephedrone and MDMA powder, and no is Ketamine with the occasional sprinkling of MDMA, if a decent product is available.
    Swim thinks most people who use drugs like these are very quick to move away from them if they're not receiving the desired effect. Unlike addicts, these users can really hurt the market if it's not providing pure enough goods.
  6. mr t
    Hmmmmmm,lets see,,Why is coke so popular now??I wonder how popular it was when 4-MMC was still legal in the U.K? I m hoping the worlds governments are watching this,maybe they will see just how big a FUCK UP they made banning 4-mmc:thumbsdown:,,,Now they will see........
  7. jumbo
    my pet dog has'nt had good coke for about 5 years, its just not coke anymore,i personally find legal rc much better, with not much come down like jgg are my choice at mo, you no what your getting every time like mc donalds...
  8. tashuisclay
    He's gotten that partially right, but in swim's opinion crop eradication in the source countrys combined with increasing police success in siezing shipments is upsetting production and distribution, meaning that slightly less of the pure product is available at wholesale level than before, so mid level dealers are having to make do with a less amount of cocaine available to them than usual, so are then diluting their product to satisfy continuing demand at street level. Its interesting how much longer this scenario will last though, as previous posters have mentioned, some people who were regular users simply aren't bothering with cocaine anymore, and rightly so, swim included.
  9. bubbly nubs
    Are you trying to suggest that mephedrone is somehow safer than cocaine? Cocaine is far from safe but mephedrone will/has have/had a bigger impact on the UK than cocaine has.

    Also, do you really think that mephedrone has died out? Its more popular than ever now in SWIM's area. A lot of cocaine is now in fact mephedrone and benzocaine.
  10. mickey_bee
    SwiPorchy - Swiy can't possibly be suggesting that the last few years of mephedrone use in the UK have had a bigger, or more profound impact on the UK in health-terms or otherwise, than the decades and decades of cocaine use..........can swiy?

    The number of kids still managing to get themselves into trouble and treatment from cocaine use is pretty staggering, personally swim has yet to come across any individual citing mephedrone as their problem when they come for treatment.
    Not that swim is saying either drug is safe, but the societal cost of cocaine use far outweighs that of mephedrone, even at todays purity levels.
  11. Lehendakari
    Spain and UK are main entry ports for EU's cocaine smuggling, it's widely available and the quality is top notch, along with a price that hasn't rised since my teenage years
  12. mickey_bee
    Swim know's Spain is a main entry point, but whether the UK is or not, the quality of cocaine at street level is appalling, and has been for several years now.
  13. lofty
    Totally agree with everything you said above, if the UK was a entry point compared to the amount Spain has imported than the quality would be a lot better.

    If the quality was better he'll know a lot more people would get back into it.

    Swim is no expert at Coke but knows enough, but when he chats to people or buys off dealers, he tells them "that's not coke" and people say things like "75 - 90% Blah Blah blah" Swim's reply is "It doesn't even come into the country like that". But this rubbish is the stuff being sold to the 18 to 34 years olds in the survey. When non drug using readers of this survey see the results they thinking it's stuff from 80's.

    If they really want to stop cocaine use in this country then they should do a "send a sample" scheme to some organization free of persecution and they would be able to access the results online. That would shock every user.
  14. Lehendakari
    SWIM picked some coke in London once and definitely got ripped off, getting it from a total stranger but SWIM tasted one of the best coke ever up in Nottingham in 2002, no kidding, it was absolutely overwhelming, expensive as hell, but you could see it shining and rocky like and it was totally worth every penny. It was a bit yellow and a bit wet but awesome nonetheless.

    The stuff he got in Bristol was average and expensive and I thing somewhere in Brighton people can get stuff very cheap and good but I've just been told about that
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