London Dubbed 'Cocaine Capital Of Europe'

By McCarton Ackerman 05/29/14

Meanwhile, other major European cities have seen their sewage water become contaminated with ecstasy, crystal meth, and synthetic drugs.

london england.jpg

A new study has confirmed that cocaine use in London is more prominent than any other city on the European continent, giving the city the dubious title as the “cocaine capital of Europe.”

The latest European Drug Report came to this conclusion by analyzing the sewage systems of 42 different cities for traces of cocaine. The samples were taken over the course of one week last year and showed that London’s sewage water contained 711 mg of benzoylecgonine, the main chemical in cocaine, per 1,000 people, compared to 393 mg in Amsterdam and 233 mg in Milan. And for reasons yet to be explained, peak cocaine use in the city came on a Tuesday. The new report also confirmed the findings from a study conducted by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, which confirmed that cocaine use had contaminated the city’s drinking water supply.

The samples also showed that London has one of the highest rates of ecstasy use. Cocaine and ecstasy were generally more popular throughout Western Europe, while crystal meth remained more popular in Eastern Europe.  But while drug use overall seems to be declining in the majority of European countries, synthetic drug use has increased significantly. More than 250 new chemical drugs have been detected in the last four years alone.

“Europe’s drugs problem is becoming increasingly complex with new challenges emerging that raise concerns for public health,” the report stated. "Some positive signs in relation to the more established drugs [...] is counter-balanced by new threats posed by synthetic drugs, including stimulants, new psychoactive substances and medicinal products, all of which are becoming more prominent in a changing European drug market."

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.