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Drug dealers are targeting middle-class drug users with ‘ethically sourced woke coke’ that they promise is ‘conflict-free’, according to an author.

Anthony Loewenstein claims that dealers are promoting their cocaine in a way that appeals to the growing number of middle-aged, educated people that are using the drug – though he adds that the claims are impossible to prove.  

Cocaine has exploded in popularity in Britain, with London getting through 23kg a day, a record in Europe, and Bristol having the highest rate of consumption per person on the continent. 

The dark web is a thriving marketplace for the drug and dealers are trying to stand out by sharing their ‘ethical’ credentials in a bid to improve their Trip Advisor-style ratings.    

Cocaine has exploded in popularity in Britain, with London getting through 23kg a day, a record in Europe, and Bristol having the highest rate of consumption per person on the continent (stock photo)

In 2018, the Global Drug Survey found that cocaine can be delivered more quickly in England and Scotland than a takeaway pizza. 

Now, Mr Loewenstein, whose new book Pills, Powder and Smoke details the changing demographic of cocaine users, said: ‘Dealers are promoting and selling ethically sourced cocaine. It means everybody in the supply chain, from the farmers in Colombia to drug mules in Europe, are treated fairly, given a decent wage and not prosecuted for their activities.’

But he also added that, despite the adverts, it was ‘impossible’ to know if a drug had been ethically sourced. 

But this does not deter dealers from making the bold claims to attract middle-class users. 

Anthony Loewenstein claims that dealers are promoting their cocaine in a way that appeals to the growing number of middle-aged, middle-class people

Anthony Loewenstein claims that dealers are promoting their cocaine in a way that appeals to the growing number of middle-aged, middle-class people

The number of hospital admissions for people aged over 50 needing treatment for cocaine poisoning has risen tenfold in a decade, astonishing new figures have revealed.

Statistics from NHS Digital show that there were 268 admissions of over-50s using the drug last year, compared with just 27 cases in 2009-2010.

There were four times as many admissions involving people aged over 40 for the drug last year as were ten years ago. A decade ago there were 209 admissions for over-40s but that rose to 982 last year.

The figures also reveal there were 41 cases last year of cocaine-poisoning admissions of those aged over 60, including six patients aged 90 or more.

In total, there were 4,341 admissions linked to the class-A drug last year, with more than half of the cases involving patients above the age of 30.

Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at Transform Drug Policy Foundation, a drug policy reform charity, said: ‘This worrying trend reflects the rising purity and availability of cocaine we have seen in recent years. There has also been an increase in cocaine-related deaths.

There were four times as many admissions involving people aged over 40 for the drug last year as were ten years ago. A decade ago there were 209 admissions for over-40s but that rose to 982 last year

There were four times as many admissions involving people aged over 40 for the drug last year as were ten years ago. A decade ago there were 209 admissions for over-40s but that rose to 982 last year

Statistics from NHS Digital show that there were 268 admissions of over-50s using cocaine (stock image) last year, compared with just 27 cases in 2009-2010

Statistics from NHS Digital show that there were 268 admissions of over-50s using cocaine (stock image) last year, compared with just 27 cases in 2009-2010

‘These problems are closely linked to the fact that cocaine prices have plummeted recently, while purity has increased by two or three times.

‘Cocaine is now cheaper, stronger and easier to buy than ever for people of all ages. Cocaine is also often taken with other drugs,’ he added. ‘In particular, it can also lead to people drinking more and for longer, which significantly increases health risks.’

Laura Bunt, acting chief executive officer at drug, alcohol and mental health charity Addaction, said: ‘Cocaine is cheaper, stronger and easier to buy than ever before.

‘At the same time, more and more people are feeling uncertain of their place in the world and unsure of what the future holds, with cocaine offering a really powerful short-term confidence boost.

‘Increasing hospital admissions show we need much better education around the potential harms of cocaine.’

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick previously said that middle-class drug users who order cocaine for ‘dinner parties’ have ‘blood on their hands’ because of the gang wars and murders triggered by the drug. 

She also said that people who worry about global warming and the climate crisis think that there is ‘no harm’ in using cocaine, when there is actually ‘misery throughout the supply chain’.  



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