For a country that isn’t likely to rank high on the list of party vacation destinations, the Scottish sure do use a lot of party drugs. Recent figures have revealed that Scotland currently ranks No. 1 in the world for cocaine use and No. 3 in terms of ecstasy use. The Scottish government isn’t so convinced on the survey’s accuracy and has accused the numbers as being “artificially elevated.”
Report’s Findings Are 'Not Surprising'
The annual U.N. World Drug Report has unfortunately labeled Scotland as having more cocaine users per head of population than any other country in the world. With a population of a little over five million, the U.N. survey found that one in 42 Scots use the Class A drug, STV News Scotland reported. This puts the home of Braveheart above other high-drug-use contenders such as England, the United States, and Spain. The only countries with more ecstasy use than Scotland were Australia and New Zealand. According to a spokesman for the addiction charity, Addaction, these findings are “not surprising,” since his clinics “treat some 4,000 people every year whose health, jobs and relationships have been wrecked by cocaine addiction.”
Figures Have Been 'Artificially Elevated'
The Scottish government claims that their own national reports suggest the contrary to what is shown in the U.N. report. “Our national statistics, drawn from a range of sources and independently analysed and assessed by the UK Statistics Authority, show that drug use in Scotland is falling among the general adult population and young people," explained a Scottish government spokesman, STV News reported. The spokesman instead insisted that the U.N.’s figures regarding Scotland and other countries in the United Kingdom were “artificially elevated.”
The high use of cocaine in Scotland may be partly due to the ease with which the public can access the drug. "Cocaine might once have been a drug used only by the wealthy but it’s been getting cheaper and cheaper since the mid-90s and is now easily accessible in most towns and cities," the Addaction spokesman said. In 2012, The Economist reported that cocaine prices in the UK were lower than almost any other European country, beaten by only Spain and the Netherlands. The main reason for the falling price of cocaine is that dealers have discovered new ways to cut down their product, allowing them to lower their prices without losing out on revenue. The most popular chemical used to cut cocaine in the UK is benzocaine, a local anesthetic that creates a similar numbing effect on the gums to actual cocaine.
Estimated 14 Percent Of Americans Have Used Cocaine
In the United States, cocaine is responsible for more emergency room visits than any other drug. It is estimated that about 14 percent of all Americans have used the drug, and unfortunately, the cocaine’s time span from recreational to addictive use is shockingly short. Cocaine use is known to lead to erratic and violent behaviors, heart attacks, body tremors and twitches, and even an inability to perform sexually, according to information released by the Coalition Against Drug Abuse.