New statistics have been used to rank the countries with the highest prevalence of cocaine use and the results may surprise you.
The statistics were compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, offering an insight into the worryingly widespread nature of the ‘glamorous’ yet dangerous drug.
Highlighting the problem, ITV‘s new series, Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, sets out to show how deep the problem is – in Britain as a whole.
Albania was ranked number one, followed closely by Scotland, the United States, England and Wales, showing cocaine is therefore much more rife than you might think within the UK.
Interestingly, the most infamous exporter of cocaine, Colombia, does not even make the top twenty, ranking at a relatively low number 34.
Despite cultural perceptions, not many Colombians actually use cocaine, this is despite the drug being big business globally for the South American country, as dramatized in popular Netflix series Narcos.
Cocaine use appears to be most prevalent in Western societies, with countries in Africa and the Middle East having the lowest percentage of users within the population.
This information was gathered through looking at people between the ages of fifteen to sixty-four – from among the general population of a country – before calculating the percentage.
Here is a list of the top twenty countries in the world with the highest percentage of cocaine users:
1. Albania – 2.5%
2. Scotland – 2.34%
3. United States – 2.3%
4. England and Wales – 2.25%
5. Spain – 2.2%
6. Australia – 2.1%
7. Uruguay – 1.8%
8. Chile – 1.73%
9. Netherlands – 1.6%
10. Ireland – 1.5%
11. Canada – 1.46%
12. Aruba – 1.3%
13. Bermuda – 1.3%
14. Ghana – 1.1%
15. Italy – 1.1%
16. France – 1.1%
17. Israel – 1.07%
18. Iceland – 1.06%
19. Costa Rica – 1.06%
20. Luxembourg – 1.04%
Snorting lines of cocaine is often regarded to be a ‘luxurious’ habit, however in reality, cocaine can be extremely destructive and users don’t always know the ingredients the product contains.
Gordon Ramsay’s new ITV documentary series, Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, examines the disturbingly high use of cocaine within the hospitality industry.
He was apparently inspired after the tragic death of one of his Chelsea-based restaurant chefs.
Speaking with the Radio Times, the celebrity chef said:
I’ve wanted to understand the ‘world’ of cocaine ever since I lost one of my chefs at my flagship restaurant in Chelsea and I wanted to learn why it’s becoming such an epidemic, not just globally but specifically in the culinary world.
I dare anyone to watch this series and not think again about taking cocaine.
Watch the video below about a mother who shared footage of her son high on the Class-A drug:
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Gordon has given a shocking insight into how ‘normalised’ cocaine has become within the hospitality industry:
I saw cocaine quite early on in my career.
I’ve been served it. I’ve been given it. I’ve had my hand shaken and left with little wraps of foil in it.
I’ve been asked to dust cocaine on top of soufflés, to put it on as icing sugar… coke’s everywhere in the restaurant world.
It’s spiralling out of control.
— Mike Jayne (@mike_jayne) October 19, 2017
— Richard Greenhorn (@richard_d_g) October 19, 2017
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
Severe medical complications can occur with cocaine use.
Some of the most frequent are cardiovascular effects, including disturbances in heart rhythm and heart attacks; neurological effects, including headaches, seizures, strokes, and coma; and gastrointestinal complications, including abdominal pain and nausea.
In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter.
— ITV (@ITV) October 19, 2017
Hopefully, Gordon’s new documentary will make people think twice before taking cocaine, wherever they are in the world.
If you’re suffering with substance abuse, call FRANK, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 0300 123 6600.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.