Bermuda ranks 13th in world for cocaine use
Bermuda ranks 13th for cocaine consumption out of 115 countries, according to a survey.
The statistics showed that 1.3 per cent of Bermuda residents used the drug — more than anywhere in the Caribbean region except the Dutch territory of Aruba, which was 12th in the table.
Truell Landy, director of youth drug prevention charity Pride, said the results underlined the need to prevent people falling victim to gateway drugs as they entered adulthood.
She added: “It is just an indicator that we need to be more vigilant with our young people here in Bermuda.
“Gateway drugs are an opening to the harder drugs — we know that if you have the tendency or predisposition to get involved in drugs or hard drugs, starting with tobacco, marijuana and alcohol, it can open the door and expose our young people.”
Albania, where 2.5 per cent of people use cocaine, came top of the list, compiled by British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
Scotland came second, on 2.34 per cent, followed by the US, where 2.3 per cent of the population use the drug and England and Wales on 2.25 per cent.
The small European duchy of Luxembourg anchored the top 20 with cocaine used by 1.04 per cent of the population.
Ms Landy said that cocaine use did not appear to be a major problem among the under-18 age group in Bermuda, with an average of 1.9 per cent using the drug.
She added that more could be done to deal with drug abuse on the island.
Ms Landy explained: “There are gaps in services among all of the substance abuse agencies whether it be prevention or treatment.
“We encourage people to get involved in providing effective services in prevention, treatment and even intervention — making sure that we have all of the resources on the island.”
The Daily Telegraph survey was based on the most recent statistics from the UN Office of Drugs and Crime and national reports.
The newspaper report said: “The data corresponds to a variety of reporting years so does not offer a perfect comparison, but gives a good indication of the nations that have the biggest appetite for cocaine.”
Ms Landy added that the survey showed the need to nip drug use in the bud. She said: “It is just an indicator that we need to be more vigilant with our young people here in Bermuda.
“Gateway drugs are an opening to the harder drugs — we know that if you have the tendency or predisposition to get involved in drugs or hard drugs, starting with tobacco, marijuana and alcohol, it can open the door and expose our young people.
“I would encourage our parents and adults caring for young people to be very vigilant.
“We are looking at what’s the current use of all substances among our young people now — some, such as alcohol, are really wreaking havoc even though it is a legal drug. There are many of our young people who are engaging with alcohol and marijuana use and it is causing problems.
“We can see it in the news over the last several years. It is something that we really want to focus on as a concern.”
This year’s National Household Survey report on drug use and health in the adult population found that two per cent of respondents admitted to a lifetime prevalence of cocaine use and 0.4 per cent said they were current users.
The Daily Telegraph article can be found at telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/cocaine-consumption.
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