UK cocaine related hospitalizations have risen by 90% in the past four years
Hospitalizations associated with cocaine use have risen by 90 percent in the last four years in the UK, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by VICE to A&E departments in England. The report additionally indicated that the number of incidents in which cocaine is mentioned in the hospitals’ attendance records has “more than doubled over the same period.”
Although VICE’s informational request procured the quantitative data that registers an ascent of diagnoses of “mental and behavioral disorders due to use of cocaine” in hospital in-patients, the information did not offer a clear reason for the surge in cocaine related hospitalizations. Experts, however, have gestured towards the increasing strength of cocaine in recent years. Researchers have attributed the drug’s augmented potency to higher benzocaine prices. Benzocaine is a cutting agent commonly used in conjunction with cocaine.
The annual Crime Survey for England and Wales determined cocaine to be second only to cannabis on the examination’s list of the most frequently used illegal drugs.
“The main reasons that people are enduing up at [the] hospital is for some kind of transient psychosis or acute toxicity, both of which are significant and challenging things to control,” said Dr. Henry Fisher, a policy director at drugs policy think-tank, Volteface. “That requires a lot of resources, “ Fisher added, “We’re already hearing that A&E and hospitals are pressured for resources, and this adds significant additional strain.”