Scotland has a lot of positive things going for it – economically, politically and socially. However, if the UN is to be believed, the Scots also have a serious problem with drugs. The annual UN World Drug Report has ranked Scotland number one in the world in terms of cocaine use and number three for ecstasy. The Scottish government disagrees.
The UN report suggests that one in 42 Scots, or 2.3% of the population, uses cocaine regularly. That puts Scotland ahead of other cocaine ‘powerhouses’ like England and the US. Where ecstasy use is concerned, Scotland is third only to Australia and New Zealand.
While the Scottish government did not provide statistics of its own, it maintains that cocaine use in Scotland has been steadily falling for a number of years. It claims that the UN report artificially inflates the numbers, though they have not said how or why. Nevertheless, does it really matter whose numbers are correct? The fact remains that cocaine use is a serious problem in most countries in the West.
Cheap and Easily Accessible
Cocaine used to be a drug reserved only for the wealthy. That is no longer the case. The UK has some of the lowest cocaine prices in the world right now, ‘thanks’ to creative producers who have managed to reduce prices by adding other ingredients to their products. Cocaine is now one of the cheapest drugs on the market. It is also easily accessible in nearly every city and town throughout Britain.
There is another problem with cocaine above and beyond the cheap price and availability: the speed at which casual use can become addiction. Where it may take months of repetitive use to create an addiction from casual alcohol or heroin use, cocaine works much more quickly. It all comes down to how the drug affects the brain.
All psychoactive drugs influence how the brain produces feelings of pleasure. The unique thing about cocaine is that it produces those pleasure feelings much more rapidly and intensely. The difference between heroin and cannabis, for example, is similar to the difference between a standard rain shower and a deluge. It is that dramatic.
Cocaine also influences dopamine levels more acutely than other drugs do. When the brain releases dopamine to cause feelings of pleasure, it simultaneously produces a certain protein that helps absorb that dopamine back into the body. Cocaine use interferes with the production of that protein, causing the brain to be bombarded with dopamine. The intense feelings of pleasure resulting from this process are highly addictive.
Getting Help for Addiction
It does not really matter whether or not the UN report is correct in ranking Scotland number one for cocaine use. What is important is that those who are dealing with a cocaine addiction get the help they need right away. Whether they know it or not, regular cocaine users are taking their lives into their hands every time they ingest the drug. Cocaine users are at a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, cerebral haemorrhage, and respiratory failure. And that’s just the start.
Even recreational cocaine users are permanently harming their health by taking the drug. One does not have to be addicted to cocaine to be victimised by its effects. As one of the most powerful stimulants in the world, cocaine is nothing but bad news across the board.
Addiction Helper encourages cocaine users to get the help they need to come clean. If you are having a problem, please contact our addiction recovery helpline today. We can assist you in arranging for the treatment that will enable you to get well.