Ireland has one of the highest cocaine death rates in Europe according to a newly released United Nations drug use report.

“The 2010 World Drugs Report” stated that the use of cocaine in Ireland has reached epidemic levels in the last decade. The figures show that Ireland’s cocaine deaths per 100,000 population was at 0.77. This record is only beaten by Portugal.

The figures from 2005 highlight the problem. In total for that year 159 Irish people died of drug overdoses. Thirty-four of these had taken cocaine.

“Cocaine use appears to be concentrated in a few countries in Europe, notably in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland and Denmark where high cocaine use prevalence rates are observed,” said the report.

“Use of cocaine is reportedly high among young males between 15 and 34 years old. Low prevalence countries in the EU remain Romania, Greece, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.”

The United Nations said that there was a notable rise in number of cocaine users across Western Europe. Also the amount of cocaine being imported into Ireland is thought to directly correlate with the number of Irish people seeking help for addiction problems.

“The number of clients entering drug treatment with cocaine as the primary drug has been increasing in recent years.

“Between 2002 and 2007, the largest proportional increases among new clients were reported by Spain, Ireland and Italy. In those countries, the number of all clients entering treatment citing cocaine as their primary drug increased as a proportion from 13 percent to 19 percent.”

Essentially over 1.7 percent of all adults in Ireland have used cocaine in the last year according the report whereas in the Netherlands this figure comes to only 0.6 percent.

Though it was always thought to be a gateway drug it seems that the upsurge in use of cocaine has caused a decline in the numbers using cannabis. Only 6.3 percent of all adults in Ireland now say they use the drug.

This is compared to a massive 14.6 percent of Italians and just 5.4 percent of Dutch people.

Unfortunately the number people using heroin in Ireland is also above the EU average at 0.5 percent. However Scotland has a far higher figure of 1.5 percent, a country known for its opiates problem.