Cocaine consumption in Spain on the rise

Cocaine Consumption in Spain is now higher than in the USA

For the first time in history, the rate of cocaine use in Spain for citizens between 15 to 64 years old is more than that recorded in the US. It is also 4 times the average for the rest of Europe according to the results of the World Report into Drugs 2007 carried out by the UN department against Drugs and Crime.

Thomas Pietschmann, director of the report, told the press yesterday that while cannabis use has stabilized in Spain, cocaine use has shot up and is now a serious problem given that 1 out of every 5 European users are in Spain.

The report was published to coincide with the World Day Against Drugs yesterday. The investigation found that the consumption and production of illegal drugs in the world has stabilized. However, in Spain illegal drug use has doubled since 1999 (1.6% of the population between 15 to 64 years old) to 3% in 2005 – a percentage that none of the other hundred countries included in the UN study reached.

The Spanish percentage is 4 times higher than in the rest of Europe where the average is 0.75% and more than double the average for Western Europe which is 1.2%. The report also found that in Secondary Schools illegal drug use has gone up from 1.8% over a decade ago to 7.2% in 2005 (in 2002 it was 6.2%).

Pietschmann also highlighted that in the results from another independent study based on the residue from cocaine production found in rivers, between 2005 and 2006 in Miranda de Ebro (Burgos) on average 97 lines were consumed everyday for every thousand inhabitants between 15 and 64 years old.

Out of all the cities included in that study only New York came out higher with an average of 134 lines of cocaine consumed while Washington only registered 56, San Francisco 31, London and Zúrich 20, and París 11.

In contrast only 5 lines were found to be consumed per thousand inhabitants in Aranda de Duero, the other Spanish locality included in the study.