Epidemiology

Cocaine is the most commonly used illegal stimulant in Europe, and its use is most common in southern and western countries. It is estimated that around 17.5 million European adults aged 15 to 64 years (5.2% of this age group) have used cocaine at some time in their lives. Of these, there are about 2.3 million young adults aged 15 to 34 years (1.9% of this age group) who have used cocaine in the past year.[3] Although decreases in cocaine use have been reported across Europe in recent years, in 2017 a number of indicators (wastewater monitoring, drug seizures, and price and purity data) suggest that the availability of cocaine may once again be on the rise. Three subgroups have shown a higher prevalence than the general population: youth, socially marginalised groups, or opiate-dependent patients in maintenance treatment who additionally use cocaine.[4] In Germany, cocaine use has been found to be part of predominantly multi-drug use behaviour and is strongly associated with substance-related disorders.[5]

BMJ Best Practice is an evidence-based point of care tool for healthcare practitioners.

To continue reading and access all of BMJ Best Practice's pages you'll need to log in or start a free trial.

You can access through your institution if your hospital, university, trust or other institution provides access to BMJ Best Practice through either OpenAthens or Shibboleth.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer