In the words of Rick James, cocaine is a helluva drug.
Britain has certainly taken a liking to the marching powder, and they can rival any region in Europe for consumption.
According to figures from the UK Home Office, in the UK in 2017-2018, 2,6% of people aged 16-59 took powdered cocaine, and 6% of 16- to 24-year-olds have tried it.
That might not sound like much, but deaths are on the rise and law enforcement are facing an uphill battle. Whereas it was once the drug of choice for affluent city folk, those parameters have shifted.
The Guardian reports:
Users come from all backgrounds. In Hyndburn – the once-prosperous centre of England’s textile industry, which is now in decline – 17 young people died of cocaine overdoses in a nine-month period in 2017. In Newcastle, according to a Vice report, cocaine has become “an important factor in the city’s legitimate economy”, with bars offering privacy curtains for patrons who wish to snort lines off their phones.
According to the National Crime Agency, recent years have seen the Albanian mafia take control of the UK’s lucrative cocaine market with a brutally effective business model. By negotiating directly with the cartels in drug-producing Latin America, cutting out traditional international importers, the Albanian mafia have been able to deliver a purer, more affordable product to market: cocaine hasn’t been this cheap since 1990.
Something tells me that the Albanian mafia isn’t all that bothered with the whole “ethically sourced” and “vegan” drug craze.
Jokes aside, it’s turning into a bit of a health crisis:
Cocaine-related deaths have increased for the sixth year running, up to 432 deaths in England and Wales in 2017, compared with 112 in 2011…
Users leap from balconies, or fall from mountain paths while under the effects of the drug. Or their bodies give out on them: many deaths take place when users mix cocaine with alcohol, producing the toxic chemical cocaethylene.
You’re wondering where the hell Peppa Pig comes in, aren’t you? We’re talking about some of the stranger places that traces of cocaine have been found:
“The Chelsea flower show, the opera, churches, a Momentum fundraiser, Peppa Pig World …” The former Sun journalist Matt Quinton lists the places he and his colleagues found cocaine traces while working undercover for the newspaper. “Peppa Pig World was unexpected,” he says.
We break briefly to let you know that the 17-year-old girl who voices Peppa on the cartoon earns around £1 000 (R17 600) per hour.
As you were:
The most shocking place Quinton found cocaine? A toilet that was only accessible to NHS staff. Because these exposés were popular with readers, and cheap to put together, Quinton or his colleagues would be sent out by editors to swab pretty much anywhere. As well as becoming extremely proficient at wiping down lavatories, Quinton learned one thing.
“Coke is absolutely everywhere, especially if alcohol is being served,” he says. In the 18-month period Quinton only failed to find cocaine once: in the bathroom at a children’s festival. “That was because they had these toilets that were entirely plastic and clearly being blast-washed on a regular basis.” And, he adds, “they didn’t serve alcohol”.
If you’re hoovering up blow at a kiddies festival, you might need to take a look at yourself in the mirror.
Why not just grow your own zol and take it easy, pal?
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