Use of Class A drugs hits 12-year high, fuelled by one million cocaine users

The use of the most dangerous Class A drugs has hit a 12 year-high as more people take cocaine, new figures show.
Drug misuse figures show that one in six of people of working age – 15.6 per cent – expect to have taken a Class A drug in their lifetimes. This compares with 9.6 per cent in 1996.
The document revealed, for the first time, an official acceptance that use of Class A drugs is on the increase. Analysis of the figures showed a “slight underlying upward trend” which is “significant over the long term” between 1996 and 2008, Home Office statisticians wrote.
The figures also revealed a sharp rise in cocaine use. The survey found that 9.4 per cent of adult expect to take the Class A drug in their lifetime – compared with just 3.1 per cent in 1996.
Three per cent of all adults admitted taking cocaine in the previous 12 months, up from 2.4 per cent – meaning that there are an estimated 974,000 users.
Figures from the British Crime Survey showed cocaine use by 16-24 year-olds went from 5.1 per cent to 6.6 per cent between 2007/8 and 2008/9.
Drug experts said the increases, particularly in the case of cocaine, were of “significant concern” and blamed falls in price and increased supply.
Martin Barnes, chief executive of charity DrugScope, said: “These figures show a marked and worrying increase in the use of cocaine powder, in the adult population as a whole and among 16 to 24-year-olds. While this is not necessarily a surprise given the drug’s decrease in price and increase in availability over recent years, it is of significant concern, particularly the rise in use among younger people.”
The figures also showed that a third of people – 31.1 per cent – now expect to have taken cannabis in their lifetimes, up from 23.5 per cent in 1996.
Chris Grayling, shadow Home Secretary, said: “Hardly a day goes by without yet another depressing set of statistics about the scale of Britain’s social problems under this Government. Drug addiction causes family breakdown, is linked to a substantial proportion of crime and causes long-term damage to people’s health. We have to turn this round.”
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: “We are not complacent. We are taking comprehensive action to tackle cocaine use, from increased enforcement to reduce the supply, along with effective treatment, education and early intervention for those most at risk.
“Police and their partner agencies are seizing record numbers of drugs and cocaine purity is recorded at an all-time low. When people think they are taking cocaine, in some instances the actual purity is as low as 4 per cent.”
Source: 23rd July 2009

Filed under: Legal Sector :

Back to top of page

Powered by WordPress