Why London is the cocaine capital of Europe: But only on weekdays

New research has found that Londoners take more cocaine on weekdays than another other city in Europe. However, when Saturdays and Sundays were also taken into the equation, the Belgian city of Antwerp actually topped the table for cocaine use. That was the first time that any other city apart from the English capital had been at the top since 2013.

The research looked at the amount of drugs found in sewage in 50 cities in Europe, across 18 different countries. Tests were conducted in March this year, which showed that cocaine concentrations in London sewage stood at 790.5mg per 1,000 people per day. At the weekend, that leapt to 999.3mg per 1,000 people per day. However, it seems the people of Antwerp take even bigger quantities of the Class A drug, as its rate was 1,042mg per 1,000 people per day. That meant that the daily averaage in Antwerp was higher, even though Londoners seemed to view every day as a party day.

High incomes

Weekend research covered up until Monday because it would have taken users until then to excrete the drug through their systems. The latest research follows earlier statistics which suggested that use of powder cocaine had gone up for households earning £50,000 or more in England and Wales. However, those with lower incomes saw a decrease.

The analysis showed the popularity of cocaine in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. However, it was not as widespread in eastern European cities, where levels were very low.

Researchers also tested cities’ wastewater for amphetamine, MDMA, or ecstasy, and methamphetamine as well as cocaine. Most cities were showing increases in the amounts of MDMA taken compared to five years ago. Drug experts say this is because it is now more readily available in comparison to 2011.

The study follows a number of seizures of cocaine in London, including £120,000 worth discovered by Border Force officials at Heathrow Airport.