London: A major international study has revealed that the UK may have become the cocaine capital of the world because the greatest consumers of cocaine in the developed world are the British youths.
It found that numbers of young people using the drug in this country have shot up by 50 percent over five years, reports the Daily Mail.
Cocaine use among teenagers and young adults has rocketed since the 1990s as the popularity of other drugs has fallen off and prices have dropped to the point where a line of coke can be bought for just 2 pounds.
But the study by the European Union drugs monitoring agency said that consumption of cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamine in Britain still remain the highest or close to the highest in Europe.
The findings brought fresh promises from ministers to tackle the supply and use of cocaine, a Class A drug which can both kill when an overdose is taken and produce high levels of dependency among users.
Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire promised police operations against big-time dealers, more treatment for addicts and new efforts to block imports.
“Drugs destroy lives and damage our communities and this report makes clear more needs to be done to tackle the problem,” he said.
The European agency, the EMCDDA, said that in the five years up to 2008, cocaine use ‘increased by 50 percent in the United Kingdom and Ireland and was stable or decreased in eight countries’.