Ireland among biggest users of cocaine in Europe - agency says cocaine use is 'relatively high'

7 in ever 100 Irish people use cocaine according to new European report

People in Ireland are among the highest users of cocaine in Europe, a new study shows.

Almost seven in every 100 of the general population, aged between 15 and 64, have tried the drug at some stage, research shows.

Almost three percent of adults, aged between 15 and 34 years - tried cocaine over the past year. That's in comparison to the European average of just under 2 per cent.

The figures are contained in the European Drug Report 2013, produced by European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The agency rated cocaine use in Ireland as “relatively high,” particularly among younger people.

Ireland is ranked among UK, Spain, Italy, and Denmark at the top of the European cocaine use league table.

The research found that 4.5 percent of the general population have tried amphetamines at some time in their life. Almost 7 percent of the population have taken ecstasy. Just over a quarter of the population (25.3 per cent) has used cannabis.

The findings comes after a Europol study released earlier this year showed that Ireland is used by Vietnamese and Chinese organized crime gangs cultivating home-grown cannabis.