IRISH ADULTS ARE among the biggest users of cocaine in Europe as orders for drugs are increasingly being made via smartphones and on darknet markets, experts have said.
The findings are contained with the EU’s drugs agency’s annual report, published today, which also noted that European authorities are seizing record quantities of increasingly pure cocaine.
The rise in trafficking on social media, darknet markets and cocaine “call centres”, where dealers deliver quickly to users who order online, are creating a “potential ‘Uberisation’” of the drugs trade, it said.
“There is a steady increase in the size of the market and sale over the internet and darknet,” Alexis Goosdeel, head of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), said in Brussels today.
The report found that Irish adults were the third-biggest users of cocaine in the last 12 months, behind the United Kingdom and Spain.
Ireland was also among six countries which noted an increase in the number of crack cocaine users who have presented for treatment since 2014.
Meanwhile, only the United Kingdom had a higher number of problem opioid users – a group including heroin users – while Irish adults were also among the biggest users of MDMA and amphetamines.
Source: Stephen McDermott, The Journal, 7th June 2019