Sharp rise in drug use in East Midlands
Only region to have an increase in figures
PEOPLE in the East Midlands reported a sharp rise in cocaine and other drug use last year. Some 8.5 per cent of people in the East Midlands admitted they had taken an illegal drug in 2016/17. This was up from 6.4 per cent the year before. It was the only region in England and Wales to post an increase in drug use that the Home Office said was statistically significant in their latest survey. The only regions to have higher rates of drug use were London and the South. Increased cocaine and ecstasy use fuelled the increase in the East Midlands. One in 43 people in the region admitted to taking cocaine last year, up from one in 99 the year before. Ecstasy use climbed from 0.6 per cent to 1.5 per cent over the same time period. Cannabis was the region’s most popular drug, with one in 15 people admitted to smoking it. The report shows that ecstasy, hallucinogens, amphetamines and cannabis have become less popular, while cocaine use has become more widespread in England over the past 20 years. About 29.6 per cent of people aged between 16 and 59 in England and Wales said they had smoked cannabis at least once in their lives, while almost one in 10 people said they had taken cocaine at least once. This means that about 3.2m people have taken cocaine and 9.7m have taken cannabis. People aged 20 to 24 are the biggest drug users, with more than one in five people in this age group reporting taking something in the past year. Men were more than twice as likely to take drugs as women. The survey showed that going out at night was strongly correlated with drug use. For example, one person in 43 in England and Wales said they had taken cocaine in the past year - but this rose to one in six among those who had been out clubbing four or more times in the past month. Drug users were also more likely to be single, unemployed or a student, a recent victim of crime and to say that they were unhappy with life, the report found.