CASUAL cocaine users who treat the drug like a weekend drink are growing in number and fuelling organised crime and rising violence, a police chief has warned.
Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, the National Police Chief’s Council lead for drugs, said Brits are racking up recreational lines once or twice are month.
Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, the National Police Chief’s Council for drugs, said people are snorting coke as a recreational drug[/caption]
The number of cocaine users in the UK has soared over the last few years, but it is being taken less often (once or twice a month) than previous years[/caption]
The growing popularity of the Class A drug is having serious consequences across the world and in Britain, as users continue snorting unaware.
New figures show more Brits are now using cocaine, but less often.
A reason for the rise is that its purity has increased while street prices remained the same, meaning buyers are stronger stuff for less cash.
Mr Harwin told The Times: “Individuals are returning home at the end of the week. Previously they were drinking alcohol but now they’re taking a line of cocaine.
“They don’t see the impact it has on fuelling organised crime.”
It’s just as likely to be used by working-class people in pubs on a week night as a glitzy champagne lifestyle drug.
Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst at Transform
He added that criminal organisations are profiting at points along the cocaine chain from production to transport to dealing in the streets.
Once the drug gets to the UK it can lead to turf wars between rival gangs trying to get in on the market.
In households earning more than £10,000 the use of cocaine has increased, while in homes earning less usage has declined, according to a Home Office Drug Misuse survey.
The percentage 16 to 59-year-olds consuming powdered cocaine has soared in the past five years to 2.6 per cent in 2017-18.
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However, most said they took it only twice a year – with the number of frequent sniffers declining.
Mr Harwin said: “The increase means serious and organised crime are profiting more from it.
“Even if it’s only on one occasion, there’s a strong likelihood that an individual has been exploited to get that drug, whether it’s in the production or transportation or supply.”
Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at Transform, said: “In the past 20 years it has penetrated a much broader market.
“It’s just as likely to be used by working-class people in pubs on a week night as a glitzy champagne lifestyle drug.
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“It is also more pure. From being 10 or 20 per cent purity, it’s now 80 or 90 per cent, and it’s effectively cheaper, so from a user’s perspective it’s better and it becomes more attractive to do.”
Last month it was revealed that users in England purchased more drugs on the dark web than any other country in the world except Finland.
The most popular drugs ordered on the net’s shady underbelly were MDMA, LSD and cannabis, followed by amphetamines such as speed and ADHD medication Adderall.
The percentage of 16 to 59-year-olds taking powdered cocaine has been on the rise in the last five years – reaching 2.6 per cent by 2017-18[/caption]
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