- Cocaine use and reported cases of gonorrhea are highest in the UK out of all countries across Europe.
- Young adults aged 15 – 34 were the highest users of cocaine.
- Gonorrhea, the sexually transmitted bacterial infection can lead to infertility.
The percentage of young adults consuming cocaine is highest in the UK compared to all other European countries, according to a report from the European Commission and the OECD.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant, with short-lived effects - which means that they temporarily speed up the way the mind and body works. The drug can be fatal and it is highly risky for anyone with high blood pressure or a heart condition. It can also cause depression and mental health problems.
Across Europe, 1.9 percent of young adults aged 15 to 34 report using cocaine in 2015. But in the UK this figure stands at 4.2 percent. Two percent young adults aged 15 - 34 were the most common users.
The report said cocaine use has gone up in recent years in at least six countries, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland.
Experts have warned there is a strain of gonorrhoea which is resistant to one of the two antibiotics used to treat the infection.
Sexually transmitted infections usually develop within about two weeks of a person being infected. In women, they include vaginal discharge and a burning feeling while going to the loo and in men it can include unusual discharge from the penis or pain while urinating.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for health and food safety, said: "The Health At A Glance report provides useful information for member states to shape their actions on health across all policies."
Dr Michael Brady, medical director at Terrence Higgins Trust, previously told Express.co.uk, said: "We cannot expect to avoid a sexual health crisis in England unless we invest in effective STI testing, treatment and prevention services in a range of settings, and unless all young people receive mandatory and high quality Sex and Relationships Education in all schools."
Overall the authors conclude that life expectancy across Europe has increased, but many are spending their additional years in ill health.
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Julia Samuel. (2016, November 25). Britain Tops List in Cocaine Use and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Medindia. Retrieved on Sep 25, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/britain-tops-list-in-cocaine-use-and-sexually-transmitted-infection-165607-1.htm.
Julia Samuel. "Britain Tops List in Cocaine Use and Sexually Transmitted Infections". Medindia. Sep 25, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/britain-tops-list-in-cocaine-use-and-sexually-transmitted-infection-165607-1.htm>.
Julia Samuel. "Britain Tops List in Cocaine Use and Sexually Transmitted Infections". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/britain-tops-list-in-cocaine-use-and-sexually-transmitted-infection-165607-1.htm. (accessed Sep 25, 2022).
Julia Samuel. 2021. Britain Tops List in Cocaine Use and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Medindia, viewed Sep 25, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/britain-tops-list-in-cocaine-use-and-sexually-transmitted-infection-165607-1.htm.