Cocaine usage is up:
Cocaine is the second most popular drug in Britain, after cannabis, with its use increasing markedly in the past decade from 0.6% of 16- to 59-year-olds reporting use to the British Crime Survey to 2.4% in 2009-10. This is equivalent to nearly 800,000 people reporting that they have used it within the last year. Among those aged 16 to 24, the increase in use has been even sharper from 1.3% to 5.5% in 2009-10 – or about 367,000 teenagers and young adults.
What horrors, eh? So, how dangerous is it?
The number of people who died after taking cocaine in England and Wales rose by 20% last year.
Official statistics released today showed there were 235 deaths linked to cocaine abuse in England and Wales in 2008, compared with 197 people in 2007. The figures include deaths related to crack cocaine.
So, what, a one in 3,000 chance of it killing you?
So you\’d have to be taking it for a decade to equal the lifetime risk of death in a traffic accident?
The lifetime risk of dying in a transport accident is remarkably high – with most of the risk coming from road traffic accidents. While the risk of dying in a road accident in any year in the UK approaches 1 in 20,000, the lifetime risk is 1 in 240.
That\’s without even considering the dosage or the method of ingestion (I would assume crack is worse than cocaine).
It\’s hardly the sort of scary, scary, risk that justifies placing manufacture and distribution into the hands of the most violent thugs and criminals in our society, is it?
Quite apart from the probability that at least some of those deaths come not from the cocaine but from the impurities caused by the illegality.