Global Cocaine Use Hits Record High in Post-Coronavirus Rebound

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The global demand for cocaine has reached record levels as use rebounds following coronavirus lockdowns according to a report released Thursday. North America and Europe lead the way in demand for the illicit substance.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said coca cultivation rose by 35 percent between 2021 and 2022 on the back of the fresh peak in demand.

Findings suggest new supply hubs have emerged in West and Central Africa while traffickers were using international postal services more often to get drugs to consumers.

Europe and North America remain the single largest markets for cocaine, followed by South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Use in Africa and Asia was “still limited” however the U.N.’s Ghada Waly said the potential for the market to expand there was a dangerous reality.