A&E cocaine cases hit high14th July 2009
Statistics obtained by the Liberal Democrats have revealed that 17 people every week are admitted to A&E departments in England because they have taken cocaine.
The UK has more than a million regular cocaine users, according to a report by the UN, which is the highest number in Europe.
If a user snorts large amounts of cocaine it can make them disorientated and hallucinate. "Cocaine poisoning" makes a user vomit and can cause fits.
The drug causes blood vessels to constrict and cause brain seizures and heart attacks.
Research in the Circulation journal has suggested that up to a quarter of heart attacks in people aged under 30 could be due to use of cocaine.
In England 894 people were admitted to A&E for a "cocaine-induced health emergency" in 2007/08, in comparison to 740 in 2006/07 and only 448 in 2003/04.
An increase of 45% since 2003/04 was seen in the number of people admitted to hospital for taking illegal drugs, rising to 9,543.
"The government has invested £406 million for drug treatment in 2009/10, of which £24.7 million is available to support young people's treatment," a spokesperson for the Department of Health said.
"Drugs use amongst young people is actually declining. Thanks to record investment, specialist substance misuse services have expanded greatly and there are now more young people getting treatment."
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Title: A&E cocaine cases hit high
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 12133
Date Added: 14th Jul 2009