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London: come for the weather, stay for the coke

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London named 'cocaine capital' of Europe for second year running

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/london-named-cocaine-capital-of-europe-for-second-year-running-a3260401.html

London is the cocaine capital of Europe for the second year running, an official study of drug concentrations in sewage reveals.

The capital saw an increase in traces of the Class A substance – one of few cities in the world to see such a rise.

Research also found that ecstasy is making a comeback as the drug of choice among young people.

Analysis by the EU's drug monitoring agency showed the average daily concentration of cocaine in London's wastewater was 909mg per 1,000 people last year - up from 737mg in 2014.

The next closest level was 642mg in Amsterdam. When weekend samples only are taken into account, the concentration for London rises to 1044, according to the figures.

Over five years there has been a "stable picture" of cocaine use around the continent, according to the study published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

It added: "Most cities show either a decreasing or a stable trend between 2011 and 2015, but in a few cases, in particular Brussels and London, an increase in BE loads was observed in this period."

Cocaine is the most commonly used illicit stimulant drug in Europe, with an estimated 2.4 million young adults between 15 and 34 having taken the drug in the last year.

Meanwhile, experts highlighted evidence of a "resurgence" in the use of MDMA - commonly known as ecstasy - around Europe after a decline from peak levels seen in the early to mid 2000s.

Figures published last year for England and Wales showed a "statistically significant" rise in the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds reporting ecstasy use in the last year, up from 3.9 per cent in 2013/14 to 5.4 per cent in 2014/15.

Europe-wide, 2.1 million young adults are estimated to have taken the drug in the previous 12 months.

In another report published on Tuesday, the EU agency said current indications suggest that in countries with higher prevalence the use of MDMA is "no longer a niche or subcultural drug".

"It is not limited to dance clubs and parties, but is used by a wider range of young people in mainstream nightlife settings such as bars and house parties," the study said.


Amsterdam needs to get off its butt and reclaim the crown.

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