Europeans Go for Coke

2007 EU report says coke use up by one million
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2007 4:46 PM CST
A UK ad campaign tries to discourage cocaine use. The billboard reads: "Cocaine makes you up to 24 times more likely to have a heart attack."   ((c) og2t [aka oggie dwa te])
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(Newser) – Cocaine is "Europe's stimulant of choice," according to a new study that says nearly five million Europeans used coke this year—a million more than last. The Spanish and British used it most, BBC reports, but Danes and Italians increased their usage most in 2007. Two million Europeans used the drug overall in the last month. An EU drug agency says it based its numbers on cocaine grabs across Europe, which jumped 45% in 2005.

Marijuana remains the hippest illegal drug in Europe, but the UK, France, and Czech Republic all saw usage drop three to four percent, BBC reports. A UK official praised yesterday's report, calling drug use "at its lowest level in 11 years" and saying drug-related offenses had "fallen by a fifth since 2003, reducing harm to communities." But crimes linked to cocaine have soared by 62% across the EU, the report said.