Alex Phillips: We need to talk about cocaine

The massive boom in usage today is seeing the highest level of drug deaths ever in the UK

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If forensics were to analyse the money in your wallet, it is almost guaranteed that it would come back showing traces of cocaine. Every single piece of paper currency entering circulation gets rolled up and snorted through within weeks.

BPolice have had to stop testing for traces of the drug in criminal investigations as it has become totally meaningless.In fact, cocaine use has rocketed so much in the past decade that the amount of the drug found in London’s water supply is up by 60%, putting our capital in the top ten cities for consumption in the world - and number one in Europe. It is everywhere. If you don’t take it, you will almost certainly know someone who does. Most bars and nightclubs have removed toilet seats while it is probable every big office in the country has played host to illicit use at work.

Undercover journalists have found cocaine in the toilets of almost every venue possible, including those designed for little children. Senior Ministers have admitted to having been users while our very own Prime Minister has never come clean about whether his own record is clean. To put it simply, cocaine has become normalised.

But behind every baggie bought, a boy is brutally stabbed, a little child groomed by gangs, a vulnerable girl raped in order to be offered protection then captured by hardened criminals, a woman is trafficked stuffed full of drug laden condoms at risk of exploding, while ferocious international criminal networks connected to extreme violence and terrorism feed the UK’s 5 billion pounds a year cocaine blackmarket. For every gram of powder snorted in Britain, four square metres of rainforest is cut down. The cycle of brutal gangland killings and primary school kids used to run county lines drug deals has become so dire that high-net-worth users are being duped into paying £200 a gram for supposedly ethical sniff, or woke coke.

Little more than a cynical marketing ploy by savvy dealers in response to government crackdowns in order to keep street prices high and line the pockets of some of the most dangerous criminals on our streets.As the market explodes, so does unprecedented access and availability. Purity has gone up as substances once cut with cocaine have been banned, while prices have come crashing down as the UK is awash with white stuff. No longer the preserve of the privileged middle class at dinner parties, anybody can now find a dealer on social media, text an emoji and get a supply dropped at their doorstep by a runner on a moped within an hour.

Cocaine hasn’t been this cheap since 1990, with a line costing less than a glass of wine. In recent years the Albanian mafia have seized the majority of the UK’s lucrative coke market, working directly with cartels in Latin America and the most dangerous wing of the Italian mafia to control Europe’s ports. From Harwich to Hull, kilos of coke are being shipped into Britain daily.

The only part of England not routinely selling Albanian cocaine is Liverpool, whose Merseyside port has its own direct access to South America and is viciously guarded by the city’s own criminal gangs. The overcrowded migrant boats washing up on the shores of England every day are likely to have Albanian slaves on board.The massive boom in usage today is seeing the highest level of drug deaths ever in the UK, with fatalities from cocaine five times higher than even just ten years ago, while hospital admissions have trebled.

Overdoses are up 75 per cent. The drug is also found in almost every high school in the land. Trafficking, terrorism, child exploitation, stabbings and shootings in broad daylight, girls kidnapped, raped, exploited and abused.

If you snort, YOU are responsible for it all.

Today, we need to talk about Cocaine.