Drugs are never 100% risk-free, but a truly startling reveal shows that cocaine hospitalizations are up 90% in the UK.
Following a Freedom of Information request, VICE reports increasing numbers of cocaine users needing medical treatment. Although the percentage of people using the drug has remained relatively steady in recent years (fluctuating between 1.9 and 2.4 percent in people 16 – 59), hospitalizations are through the roof.
Through an analysis of hospital data, VICE is able to reveal that the number of patients diagnosed with “mental and behavioural disorders due to use of cocaine” has risen over the past four years by more than 90%.
The reality is coke is getting stronger and no one is really certain why. Purity, cutting agents, and dosage are all potential factors and the risks are dramatically increasing. Something needs to change and the “War on Drugs” doesn’t seem to be working.
Volteface x The Loop – Night Lives
Dr. Henry Fisher, policy director at Volteface and harm reduction senior chemist at The Loop admits it’s an uphill battle: The main reasons that people are ending up at hospital is for some kind of transient psychosis or acute toxicity, both of which are significant and challenging things to control. That requires a lot of resources. We’re already hearing that A&E and hospitals are pressured for resources, and this adds significant additional strain.
He continues: Large numbers of the public are ending up in hospital after using drugs or otherwise being adversely affected by poor drug-use practices. Drug safety testing, and other measures to reduce drug-related harms, provide an opportunity to educate people and reduce those harms before they occur, rather than having to clear up after the fact.
Read more on this topic – Night Lives: Reducing Drug-Related Harm in the Night Time Economy