A report by the National Association of Public Health Observatories has said that there is a sharp increase in the number of young women abusing cocaine and that this figure is now on par with men.
The report is yet another evidence of fears that a "ladette" culture is gripping the society. I 2003 4.8 per cent of women aged 10 to 25 were abusing cocaine as compared to 8.2 percent of men in the same age group. In 2006 this figure rose to 6.7 for women and 7.3 percent for men.
"We should not be surprised by these figures because we have seen the same thing happening with alcohol, which is intrinsically linked with cocaine," said report co-author Jim McVeigh, an epidemiologist at Liverpool John Moores University. "As women have become more and more prevalent in drinking environments they have been more exposed to cocaine which at the same time has also become more widely available and cheaper.
Cocaine abuse is seen as glamorous following the exploits of celebrities like Kate Moss, Jodie Kidd and Amy Winehouse.