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New Evidence into Cocaine-related Deaths

21.02.2008
A paper by Professor Fabrizio Schifano at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Pharmacy, which has been published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, indicates that 1,022 people died between 1990 and 2004 in instances where the presence of cocaine/crack cocaine was detected.

In this descriptive and correlational study, Professor Schifano reviewed the number of mentions on death certificates during the specified period, last year use of cocaine; treatment demand, number of drug offenders; seizures, prices and average purity levels.

He found that over the 15 year period, cocaine has become more available. The decrease over time in cocaine powder price has facilitated easier access to the drug and hence an increase in its consumption levels. He also found that there has been a decrease in crack cocaine concentration per rock which can lead to individuals taking more of the drug to get the desired effect.

“More individuals experimenting with the drug is a cause for serious concern,” said Professor Schifano. “Furthermore, a greater availability of the cocaine formulations means that some consumers may find it easier to enter a chronic consumption pattern and if there are more people taking the drug, then more people will die from it too.”

An abstract of Professor Schifano’s paper: Cocaine/crack cocaine consumption, treatment demand, seizures, related offences, prices, average purity levels and deaths in the UK (1990-2004) is available at: http://jop.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/22/1/71

Helene Murphy | alfa
Further information:
http://jop.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/22/1/71

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