Italy has been ranked the second largest consumer of cocaine in the world by The Global Drug Survey 2019. The report surveyed more than 120,000 people from over 35 countries. Over 4,000 Italians were asked how many days in the last year they used cocaine, with results showing that Italy has the second highest median number of days with 10. This figure is close to double the global average at 6 days, and averages at almost once a month using the Class-A drug.
Coupled with this, the purity of street cocaine is at its highest level in a decade, according to The Guardian. Unfortunately, higher purity cocaine can lead to increased risk of mental health issues, medical harm and dependence on the drug.
Reportedly 64.6% of the 4,105 Italians surveyed who use cocaine want to use it less, making them the most conflicted population surveyed for drug use in the report. Despite this confliction however, The European Drug Report 2019 (EDR 2019) found that there has been a reported increase in the number of cocaine users entering medical treatment since 2014 in Italy.
The EDR 2019 goes on further, stating that “Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom account for almost three-quarters of all reported specialised treatment entries related to cocaine in Europe.” Additionally, much of the increase in cocaine first time treatment entrants between 2014 and 2017 is attributed to Italy.
A Europe-wide wastewater study also found a considerable increase between 2015 and 2018 in cocaine metabolites detected in wastewater in Milan. Cocaine levels in Bozen in 2018 were similar to those in Milan.
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