UK has second highest rate of cocaine use in the world, figures show

22 December 2023, 20:15 | Updated: 22 December 2023, 20:17

Cocaine usage is the second highest in the world in the UK
Cocaine usage is the second highest in the world in the UK. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The UK has the second highest rate of cocaine use in the world, figures show.

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A new study has found that one in 40 British adults (2.7 percent of the population) take cocaine, more than any other country in Europe.

The only other country that takes more cocaine than the UK is Australia.

Meanwhile, the United States is in fifth, with 2.4 percent of Americans consuming the Class A drug.

In third and fourth is Austria and Spain, respectively.

Cocaine is popular in the UK
Cocaine is popular in the UK. Picture: Alamy

The UK's high cocaine usage is thought to be fuelled by the country's drinking culture.

Meanwhile, the USA's geographical proximity to Mexico makes it easier to get cheap cocaine, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) study.

Read More: 'The war on drugs has failed': Switzerland considers legalising cocaine

Read More: Spain seizes tons of cocaine hidden among frozen tuna in shipping containers

As for the types of people that take cocaine, the study found that it is widely used regardless of social class due to its dwindling price and increased availability.

The countries with the lowest cocaine usage in the world include Indonesia, Japan and India.

Binge drinking culture in the UK increases cocaine culture
Binge drinking culture in the UK increases cocaine culture. Picture: Alamy

Usage is also particularly high in Ireland, Canada and Netherlands, with two percent of the population taking the illicit drug.

The OECD report warns: "Drug use is linked with, or complicates responses to, a wide range of today's most pressing health and social issues.

"Among these are mental health issues, self-harm, homelessness, youth criminality and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals."

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