Why Bristol is the new cocaine capital of Europe

Cocaine in Bristol At “Pocket Money” Prices

The scale of the cocaine and heroin problem in Bristol has been revealed in figures just now released. The city has the highest number of users in the South West for these types of drugs and, worryingly, they can often be obtained for “pocket money” prices.

Public Health England statistics show that 4,943 adults in Bristol, between the ages of 15 and 64, have been using crack cocaine as well as opiates like heroin or and opiate-based prescription drugs.

The report suggest that a large number of dealers in the city make the supply of ‘crack rocks’ plentiful, with 24 hour access to the drug for as little as £5 per deal.

In the South West in total it is estimated that 30,000 drug users are taking both crack cocaine and opiates like heroin, or opiate-based prescription drugs.

Use of other drugs such as cocaine in powder form, amphetamines (speed), MDMA (ecstasy) or cannabis are not included in the report which was prepared using data obtained between March 2016 and March 2017.

In other local areas, the report highlighted that Weston-super-Mare has 1249 of these types of drug users. In Bath and North East Somerset there are 1073 users. In South Gloucestershire, 1236 drug users take both types of drug.

The findings also show that it is not just the younger people of the south west that are addicted to crack and opiates.

The number of users, aged 25-34, that are shown to be using crack and opiates stands at 7,777 with an additional 18,237 people aged 35-64 also using.

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Is Bristol The Cocaine Capital Of Europe?

Another recent report suggested that Bristol was the cocaine capital of Europe. Scientists looked at sewage from dozens of cities around Europe to explore drug-taking habits. The study was commissioned by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug addiction.

The study measured wastewater in 73 cities in 20 countries in Europe, with a total population of around 46 million, in March last year. It looked at the level of contamination of drugs in water. For Cocaine, the benzoylecgonine loads were analysed. Bristol was the highest city with a contamination level of 969.2mg per 1,000 people. Amsterdam had the second highest figure in 2018, with 932.4mg. After that it was followed by Zurich with 856.0mg.

The level of water contamination by cocaine in London was not studied in this research. However, it is generally accepted that the level of contamination of water by cocaine in London would be higher that that in Bristol.

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Photo Credit: “Bristol City Centre at Night (HDR)” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by LukeAndrew94