Cocaine overdose cases quadruple at hospitals

The number of cocaine users being admitted to hospital has quadrupled in eight years, it has emerged as concerns grow that it has become the drug of choice for middle-class men.
An average of more than two people a day are admitted to accident and emergency units for “cocaine-induced health emergencies”, official Government data showed.
There were 740 incidents in 2006-07 compared with 161 in 1998-99.
The figures revealed that 85 per cent of the patients were men, with an average age of 29.
In comparison, heroin overdoses and cannabis poisonings both fell in the same period, according to the figures obtained by Druglink magazine.
The statistics expose the scale and impact of cocaine’s growing popularity and come after a series of high-profile cases involving the drug.
Recent drugs crime surveys have also reported growing use of cocaine among the urban middle classes. One study found one in three young men attending A&E at a London hospital with suspected heart attacks were cocaine users
Home Office figures show that use of the drug has more than doubled among 16 to 24-year-olds since the start of the decade, and Britain remains one of the countries with the highest level of cocaine abuse, along with Spain and Italy
Source:   25/05/08




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