Estimated Prevalence of Cocaine Use in the EU
"Cocaine is the most commonly used illicit stimulant drug in Europe, although its use is more prevalent in the south and west of Europe. Cocaine powder (cocaine hydrochloride) is primarily sniffed (nasal insufflation), but is also sometimes injected, whereas crack cocaine (cocaine base) is usually smoked.
"It is estimated that about 2.4 million young adults aged 15 to 34 (1.9 % of this age group) used cocaine in the last year. Many cocaine users consume the drug recreationally, with use highest during weekends and holidays. Among regular users, a broad distinction can be made between more socially integrated consumers, who often sniff powder cocaine, and marginalised users, who inject cocaine or smoke crack sometimes alongside the use of opioids.
"Only Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom report last year prevalence of cocaine use among young adults of 3 % or more. The decreases in cocaine use reported in previous years have not been observed in the most recent surveys; of the countries that have produced surveys since 2013, six reported higher estimates, two reported a stable trend and four reported lower estimates than in the previous comparable survey.
"A statistical analysis of long-term trends in last year use of cocaine among young adults is only possible for a small number of countries. Spain and the United Kingdom both reported trends of increasing prevalence until 2008, followed by stability or decline. Reports from the United Kingdom suggest that this decline is limited to younger adults (16–24), with prevalence in the older age group remaining stable or increasing. France has an increasing trend, moving above 2 % in 2014. In Finland, prevalence has increased but the overall levels of use remain low, only reaching 1 % for the first time in 2014."