Over the past few years an alarming rise in the rates of cocaine use has occured in the UK. There are a number of factors contributing to this rise, but what is even more worrying is that many people combine their cocaine abuse with other "club" drugs or alcohol.Following a meeting of the of the UK governments official drugs body the Police representatives made it clear that there has been an alarming rise of cocaine use over the last five years. It also seems that it is a much younger age group which is being affected (17 to 29 year olds). There are fears that it is being mixed with traditional “dance club” drugs and its overall danger is intensified due to a more prevalent culture of cocaine being taken with alcohol.
Current statistics show that around one in eleven adults in England and Wales admits to having taken cocaine. Other evidence showed use was highest among higher earners, and users in England are most likely to be aged 20 to 24. In attempting to pinpoint the reason for the sudden rise in cocaine use, experts have highlighted the changes in the licensing laws in 2003. Now that public houses are allowed to remain open after 11.00pm individuals are using cocaine to remain alert so they can drink through the night. Police officials have also stated that it is the presence of cocaine and alcohol that is triggering a great deal of violence on the streets. There is also evidence that it is being mixed with drugs such as ecstasy. Young people are unaware that they are in fact taking a cocktail of drugs and that part of that cocktail is a highly addictive Class A drug. There is also evidence that the average cost of Cocaine has fallen on the streets. The latest figures released from Drugscope showed cocaine cost £70 a gram in 2003 but it can now be obtained for as little as £40 a gram.
One of the most startling claims made concerning the rise in cocaine use is how it maybe affecting all of us indirectly. The new research suggests that one in every ten UK ten pound bank notes has the residue of cocaine powder. Cocaine addicts use £10 notes to actually take the drug itself by funnelling the drug and snorting it. In 2005 around 4 per cent of notes showed cocaine residue from a simple swab test. But the most recent figures show that has nearly trebled to 11 per cent.