The ‘standardised’ drug that the UK consumes more than any other country

Going to college represents a fresh start and a new level of independence for young people across the country.

And a big part of student culture is partying, drinking, and clubbing. For some, what begins with social drinking can quickly lead to a spiral of alcohol and drug use – something that is rarely explored when discussing the “college experience”.

A former student, who studied at a university in Liverpool and said part of drug use had become a “normalized” part of student life, has shared some of his experiences with cocaine.

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They told ECHO: “It’s literally everywhere, it’s more surprising these days to hear someone not do it than to hear someone do it. It’s horrible even if it sucks you in .

“It starts off as an occasional thing on nights out, but it gets to a point where as soon as you get a drink, you end up consuming. That’s what happened with me, it started the first week when a friend of mine offered me cocaine, then it just got out of hand over time.”

A survey by the National Union of Students found that two in five students in the UK use drugs, with cannabis alongside cocaine being the most commonly used illicit drugs. Meanwhile, the UK is known as the “cocaine capital of Europe” with the continent’s highest number of young cocaine users, according to The Mirror.

Besides the more obvious risks of heart attack, stroke, or physical dependence, cocaine can cause long-term mental damage, especially to young minds.

Regular cocaine use can cause anxiety and paranoia, which can actually last a long time. According to the FRANK Addiction Service, drugs can also bring previous mental health issues to the surface, and if a relative has had mental health issues, there could be an increased risk for you.

The financial impact of a cocaine addiction can also be devastating, as explained by a former Liverpool University student who developed an addiction to the drug. They told ECHO: “It’s an expensive, expensive thing, you keep wanting more so you keep going and keep going, I spent hundreds of pounds in a day or two and had to resort to loans and help from friends in the past.”

For help and advice on drug addiction, you can visit the NHS website here.

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