Britain is the party drugs capital of the world
Britain is the party drugs capital of the world, claims UN in bombshell report revealing global cocaine and ecstasy hotspots
• Cocaine use in Scotland is higher than anywhere else in the world, according to the UN's 'World Drug Report' 2014
• One in 40 Scots take the class A drug, but the figure is just one in 50 in England and Wales
• Ecstasy use across Britain also among highest in the world, with only Australians and Kiwis use the drug more
Britain is now the party drugs capital of the world, a new United Nations report has revealed.
One in 40 Scots use cocaine - the highest in the world - and just under one in 50 people in England and Wales.
Overall, Scotland sits top of the world cocaine league table, ahead of Spain, the US, Australia and Uruguay. England and Wales sit sixth in the global list of cocaine users. Ecstasy use in the UK is among the highest in the world, according to the UN report. Only Australia and New Zealand use the banned drug more often.
The UN report reveals that Scotland is the cocaine capital of the world, with the rest of Britain not far behind.
Scotland is third in the table of ecstasy users, behind only Australia and New Zealand. The Dutch are the fourth biggest ecstasy takers in the world, with England and Wales sitting fifth.
In total, one in 59 Scots take ecstasy and one in 75 people in England and Wales.
The shock report comes after celebrities including Russell Brand, Sir Richard Branson and Sting called on the Government to end its 'war on drugs',
In an open letter to David Cameron, more than 80 campaigners urged the Prime Minister to launch a review of Britain's drugs policy.
The letter said more than 1.5 million people have been criminalised in the UK for drugs possession over the last 15 years.
It said evidence from Australia, the Czech Republic and Portugal that health problems linked to drugs are 'dramatically' reduced when users are given medical support and advice rather than being prosecuted.
Edward Fox from the drugs charity Release said the figures exposed the futility of the Government's war on drugs.
He said: 'With recent statistics showing that cocaine and ecstasy use in the UK remains among the highest in Europe, it reveals that the government’s approach of strict criminalisation is failing to have an impact on levels of use.
'By its own estimates, the government spends £1.5-£2.5 billion annually on law enforcement against supply and possession offenses, yet the UK still has one of the highest overall rates of drug use in Western Europe.
'Over 90 percent of people who use drugs in this country do so recreationally, many of them are young and the greatest risk they face is criminalisation. 'Additionally the cost of police and prosecuting this activity is an expensive waste of tax payers money.
'It is time that the UK government looks at removing unnecessary criminal sanctions for drug possession to prevent any further waste of state resources and to end the lost opportunities for young people created by criminal records.'
Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of the addiction charity Addaction, added: 'We treat some 4,000 people every year whose health, jobs and relationships have been wrecked by cocaine addiction, so the findings of the UN World Drug Report are not that surprising.
90s and is now easily accessible in most towns and cities.’
In Scotland 2.4 per cent of the population take cocaine - the highest figure in the world. Some 1.7 out of 100 meanwhile take ecstasy. The English and Welsh are also among the highest party drug users in the world, according to the UN.
A Scottish Government spokesman dismissed the report's claim that Cocaine use is rife north of the border.
The spokesman told MainOnline: 'We do not accept the international comparisons made in this report due to considerable concerns about the amount and quality of the information available in different countries – concerns regularly raised with the UN by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.
'The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey information on drug use for 2012-13, published two weeks ago, showed that self-reported drug misuse is decreasing among both the adult population and younger people (16-24) and that drug use was falling for class A and B drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy, as well as well as cannabis.
'Indeed, it is likely that other countries are under-reporting their drugs use - artificially elevating Scotland (and other UK countries) relative position. Here in Scotland, we are recognised as having some of the most robust information available in the world and despite what this report says, our national statistics, drawn from a range of sources and independently analysed and assessed by the UK Statistics Authority, show that drug use in Scotland is falling among the general adult population and young people.'