The white scourge of London, cocaine use was found to be the highest in London amongst a European waste water survey that checked 42 cities and capitals. The European Drug Report of 2014 (http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/edr/trends-developments/2014) found London waste water to have almost twice as much cocaine residue than Amsterdam and three times that of Milan.
You might say that makes sense as London is so much bigger but these findings were based on use per 1,000 people. This means that London at a population of 8 million versus Amsterdam at 800,000 has more cocaine being used per person and also many more users and addicts. This water waste survey makes other drug use surveys much more revealing. The Home Office national statistics shows that Class A (cocaine and other drugs) use has been falling steadily since its last peak in 2008. If we are making such great strides to reducing drug use, how can we still be the top cocaine addicted city in Europe?
According to Harry Shapiro, Director of Communications at DrugScope, the rise of cocaine’s popularity in the UK is primarily due to the massive price drop. It has dropped by about 50% in about the last 6 years. Something is happening in the UK that is enabling this cost drop, either an over abundance of production, easier smuggling, or lowered quality by cutting the product many times.
How does so much cocaine end up in the UK? The main distributors are from Central America and the northern part of South America. Normally coming in by sea and by air, either directly or through intermediate stops in Africa, the drug can be smuggled in by bulk or by using people as drug mules. I spoke with BBC 5 Live recently about drug smuggling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvX_IjY4T4Y. People get into drug smuggling for all kinds of reasons:
- being around the wrong crowd and lead down that path
- getting hooked on the adrenaline rush of this highly illegal and dangerous activity
- to fund a lifestyle they want or their own drug addiction
From my experience, I find that even if you do not get caught by the police for drug smuggling, that type of lifestyle will catch up to you in other ways. Many people get addicted to the drugs they smuggle and end up destitute. Others get ripped off, losing everything and even their lives, because you deal with people who can be very brutal. Even if these aspects don’t happen to a drug smuggler, their ability to lead a happy and normal life is over. You are constantly paranoid of being caught, getting in trouble with your suppliers/buyers, and trapped in a world of dishonesty with your closest friends and family.
In my practice, the number of people coming in for help with cocaine addiction in London has been growing even though the overall Class A drug use report says that we are experiencing a strong decline of users for 6 years now. I think there are several reasons, nothing scientific to back up my opinion, but:
- With cost of cocaine coming down, more people will be tempting in trying it and those addicted to cocaine can buy even more
- The economy has been rebounding since the financial meltdown, more people are in work and have a stable income, making drug purchases less of a financial worry and included into a weekend bender/ distress from the office
- The amount of dealers and the volume of the drug cocaine inside London is growing; walking down popular areas like Leicester Square can end up with being asked if you’d like Charlie (street name for cocaine)
Money, opportunity, supply, and cost. All of these factors are in favour of cocaine and London is showing the result that this has on the population. Increased cocaine users and cocaine addiction. If you find yourself or a friend, family, loved one in the grips of cocaine addiction, please get in touch today for a free consultation on cocaine addiction counselling. I will help with cocaine addiction and recovery and give you the counselling, rehab, and strategy to get through using and back to living.