Culture Lab U.K. (Culture-Lab)

Cocaine Users Are Getting Younger


According to an annual poll of U.K. drug workers by DrugScope, a growing number of children and young adults are now seeking help for cocaine addiction and the workers also said that dealers are offering "economy" cocaine in order to put the price within reach of younger people.

Anecdotal evidence shows that the cheaper economy cocaine is being sold for £30 a gram, while the "luxury" kind costs £50 and the cheaper cocaine is laced with additives in order to keep the cost down.

The survey questioned eighty different drug services and police forces in twenty towns and cities across the U.K. including Belfast, Cardiff, London and York.

Martin Barnes who is CEO of DrugScope described the 2007 Street Drug Trends survey as "worrying" and said, "We do not wish to exaggerate the extent of cocaine use but our survey does reveal some worrying trends. The use among young people, the drug's affordability and the combination with alcohol and other drugs is clearly a concern."

He said there was very little evidence to show that current efforts to tackle the supply were having an effect on either the availability or the price of cocaine. "Dealers are able to meet the demands of different users by creating a two-tier marketâ, he added.

A worker at a Manchester drugs charity told the survey, "We are seeing the age of first use and of problem use dropping. The proliferation of cocaine is going mental. We are seeing many young people start using at fifteen and getting into problems when they are eighteenâ.

The poll also indicated that whereas the price of most street drugs had remained stable since the 2006 survey that the price of heroin had dropped again and now stands at £43 a gram.