Britain Leads Cocaine Market


Britain now has Europe’s biggest cocaine market, according to an annual survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime.

The “World Drug Report 2007” reveals that Britons in the market for cocaine last year totaled over 900,000 people—more than any other European nation. Prevalence rates showed 2.3 percent of the British population between the ages of 16 and 59 use the narcotic. That represents a fourfold increase in the prevalence of the drug in 10 years.

In addition, the report revealed there are 350,000 people in the market for opiates (mostly heroin) in the UK, the largest number in Western Europe.

For whatever reasons, much of the rest of the world’s cocaine use is either stabilizing or declining, which makes Britain’s increase in drug use more noticeable.

According to the report, Europe accounted for most of the global increase in use of cocaine. The highest number of users came from North America (with the U.S. leading the region), followed by Western and Central Europe. In other words, most of the global drug demand comes from the Western world.

It is a paradox that the population of the world’s richest nations, with the best standards of living and the healthiest conditions, is also the population most prone to use heavy drugs. A discussion on why this paradox exists can be found in our free booklet No Freedom Without Law.