As the average purity of street drugs is increasing, the number of cocaine and heroin deaths by overdose is going up rapidly, leaving UK officials powerless to handle the problem.
We all know hard drugs can kill, even though the percentage of those who take a deadly dose is generally much smaller than what you might expect. For example, cocaine-related deaths in Britain numbered just 112 in 2012, with somewhat larger numbers for heroin.
However, there is a sharp rise in mortality of hard drug users over the past few years, caused mostly by higher purity of narcotics that are being sold in ever-increasing quantities all around UK.
According to Office for National Statistics, a record-breaking 3,674 people lost their lives after consuming drugs in 2015, with heroin and morphine accounting for 1200 victims and cocaine claiming another 320.
Higher purity drugs
It’s not hard to draw a straight line between record opium harvest in Afghanistan in 2014 and the growing number of fatalities among users.
Heroin is often used together with cocaine, which might be an explanation to why so many people are overdosing on this powerful stimulant.
Users also might not be accustomed to the strength of drugs that are hitting the market and have difficulties determining what dose to take. Taking a dose only three times higher than normal can be very dangerous with substances of this kind.
Absence of drug-testing possibilities compounds the problem even further, forcing users to behave in unsafe ways even if they may be concerned about their wellbeing.
Older drug users
Another factor that must be taken into account is the average age of a British drug user. Since heroin was immensely popular in the 1970’s and 80’s, it is fair to assume that a good chunk of the nation’s addicts are getting into more fragile period of life, with decades of abuse finally taking the toll.
The statistics don’t show how many of the fatalities that happened last year were among older users, but it’s a fact that drug-taking population is getting older in general and that medical problems in this group are likely to continue in the future, regardless of the quality of drugs available in the market.
Prohibition still is not working
UK government is facing a very tough task to keep drug-related deaths to a minimum, and currently used methods are clearly not producing great results. Treating abuse as a medical rather than legal issue would definitely be a step forward that could help save lives, but such a change of course doesn’t look to be in the plans despite the obvious need for a fresh solution.
This article was originally written in English, If you see any errors please email us at words@The-TripReport.com