Cocaine use in Britain has more than doubled in five years and purity of the drug has reached a record high, an analysis of waste water has shown.
The analysis, carried out by forensic scientists at King’s College, London, shows London and Bristol are in the top five cities with the highest use of the Class A drug in Europe, alongside Barcelona, Antwerp, Zurich and Amsterdam.
London is one of the few cities in Europe where consumption of the drug is almost as high during the week as at weekends. The analysis also suggests more than one in every 50 people in London take the drug every day.
Dr Leon Barron, a forensic scientist at King’s College, London who led the research, told The Telegraph that the analysis gives a comprehensive understanding of how much cocaine is being consumed by the population. “It’s been steadily rising,” he told the newspaper.
“I understand that purity has also risen mainly through increased supply and production in Latin America. There are cartels operating in the UK to offload that excess supply,” he said.
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