Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Use of heroin and crack soars

Times Online

The number of people using crack cocaine and heroin has risen by more than a third over the past two years, according to a Home Office report, writes Daniel Foggo.

The study shows that more than 90,000 extra people are taking the drugs in England, which now has 340,000 crack and heroin users.

The report, by scientists at the Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow, which has yet to be published, has stunned drug-care professionals.

It has also provoked debate about whether the new figures reflect a recent steep rise in drug use, or whether they point to a high level of usage that had previously gone undetected.

Either way, the report indicates that the country has a much greater drug-abuse problem than was formerly considered to be the case.

The government claims that levels of hard-drug usage have been relatively stable over the long term, although figures released in February showed that drug-related deaths rose for the first time in six years. The number of injecting drug users with HIV has hit a 14-year high.

Martin Barnes, chief executive of Drugscope, the independent drug policy think tank, said the report was of “extreme concern”. He added: “We have seen record amounts of money going into drug treatments recently and would have expected that to have had some impact.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “There is no evidence to suggest the number of problematic drug users is increasing. ”


Blogger 800 pound gorilla said...

What's with the term "hard drug" and "soft drug"? Marijuana is a soft drug mostly because it can't be injected and the ingestion of toxins through smoking is very limited. In other words it's soft only because the criminals haven't figured out how to make it more easily abusable. of course some people believe that marijuana should be a "hard drug" because it is so HARD to abuse.

During prohibition beer and wine were not readily available. Towards the end it was nonexistent. There's more profit in hard liquor so criminals who don't have to deal with the free market sell what makes money. If beer and wine were legally available all those who used bathtub gin and moonshine because that was what was available would have switched to beer and wine.

Now if cocaine drinks [like original original Coca Cola] and heroin tinctures were available how many new users would be shooting up? How many old users would switch to heroin with lower potencies and a consumable form? As recently as the 50s you could buy heroin in stores in other countries. The street stuff you buy starts at 30-50% potency. The stuff you bought at the stores was 10-15%. Can you say "comparing apples to oranges".

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