Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Crime Report Highlights UK and Ireland Drug Problem
Illegal drug use in the UK and Ireland is among the highest in the world, a new report revealed today.
Both countries have a higher proportion of cocaine-users than anywhere except Spain, while Ireland tops the league table for ecstasy, says the the 46-nation Council of Europe annual report on the state of organised crime.
About 185 million people worldwide – 3% of the global population – use illegal drugs. Nearly 80% of them use cannabis, 20% use ecstasy and amphetamines, 7% use cocaine and 3% use heroin.
The report shows the Russian Federation as having the biggest heroin problem, with 2.1% of the population using the drug. But the UK recorded by far the largest heroin seizures in 2002, with 3,929 kilograms impounded.
The UK also seized the most amphetamines, including ecstasy – 1,716 kilograms.
Spain has the highest rate of cocaine use in the world at 2.6%, followed closely by Ireland (2.4%) and the UK (2.1%). Rates of cannabis use in Europe are highest in the Czech Republic (10.9%) and the UK (10.6%).
Ireland has the highest amphetamine use in Europe (1.6%), followed by the UK (1.6%) and Denmark (1.3%). Ecstasy use in Ireland, at 3.4%, is among the highest in the world, followed by the Czech Republic (2.5%) and the UK (2%).