Number of Flemish youngsters using cocaine up

22nd July 2008, Comments 0 comments

The number of Flemish youngsters using cocaine on a weekly basis has doubled to 4.3 percent in 2007.

22 July 2008

BELGIUM - The number of Flemish youngsters using cocaine on a night out, has more than doubled over the past four years.

The association for alcohol and drugs problems questioned some 2,000 young party-goers at music festivals and discotheques since 2003.

The number of party-goers using cocaine at least once a week in 2003 was 2 percent. It doubled to 4.3 percent in 2007.

The number of party-goers who used the hard drug every now and then has also increased. In 2003, 11.3 percent of the respondents admitted using cocaine occasionally. In 2005, this number was 12.3 percent and in 2007, it soared to 17.1 percent.

Experts explain the growing popularity of the hard drug is due to cheaper prices and that it is often used in small quantities and in groups.

In June, Belgium's top cyclist Tom Boonen tested positive on cocaine. Boonen later admitted having tried a line of cocaine at a party. He also said it was a private matter, which had nothing to do with his cycling career. Nevertheless, he was barred from the Tour de France, despite winning the green jersey in 2007.

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