Cocaine use is on the rise in the United Kingdom despite less than 2 percent of young adults in Europe reported using the drug over the last year, according to a new report. The European Commission and OECD's annual Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 analysis found cocaine use to be relatively low across Europe, but in the U.K. specifically, the illicit white powder appears to be growing in popularity with more than 4.2 percent of young adults between 15 and 34 admitting to using the substance in the last year.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, said cocaine was also highly consumed in Spain and the Netherlands.
Overall, the study found 88 million people throughout Europe used illicit substances of some kind in the last year. Despite cocaine’s rising use in the U.K., marijuana remained the most used illicit drug among young adults across all of Europe with more than 13 percent of people ages 15 to 34 reporting consumption in the last year. Czech Republic and France had the highest amount of marijuana use accounting for 20 percent of young adult use.
In the United States, cocaine use has been on the decline since 2007, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary. As for marijuana consumption in the U.S., like Europe, the plant is still used the most with rates steadily increasing, which the DEA said could be due to the growing number of states adopting legal cannabis laws. More than 19.8 million people admitted to using marijuana in 2013, the report said.
The Health at a Glance report also analyzed sexually transmitted disease data across Europe and found that, like cocaine, cases of gonorrhea was on the rise, specifically in the U.K. Only 20 of every 100,000 Europeans were afflicted with gonorrhea in 2014. In the U.K., however, 60 out of every 100,000 people reported cases of gonorrhea. However, HIV continues to be the dominating sexually transmitted disease in Europe with nearly 30,000 people reporting infection in 2014. The report said that could be due to drug consumption and sharing of contaminated needles.