Drugs: cocaine is spreading more and more in France


The French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction reveals in a note that laughing gas is also spreading more and more in metropolitan France.

The French more and more addicts? According to a note from the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT),  some drugs are spreading more and more on the French territory of metropolis. This is particularly the case of cocaine and laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, or “proto”. The document published by the OFDT was developed from the results of studies conducted in eight major French cities, including Paris , Lyon and Marseille . His conclusions are irrevocable: cocaine has an “exceptional accessibility”, associated with a very high purity rate: 59% on average in seizures of less than 10 grams, more than double that of 2011.

The seizures in 2017 reached “an unequaled level” with 17.5 tons, according to official figures. Only 1.6% of 18-64 year olds are users in 2017, compared with 1.1% in 2014, however, the OFDT recalls. The Observatory also notes the widening of the practice of basing cocaine, that is to say the fact of adding an alkaline compound to the powder, making it possible to obtain a form of the smokable product which leads to more effective effects. brief, but especially more intense. “Until recent years, the crack market, where cocaine is sold already based, has remained concentrated in northeastern Paris and its near suburbs in Seine-Saint-Denis. At the same time, since the mid-2000s, there has been a steady increase in the consumption of cocaine by way of smoke in the whole of France,

In addition, the OFDT notes the “renewed popularity of nitrous oxide” or laughing gas: extract of industrial cylinders, it is packaged in balloons sold 1 to 2 euros per unit, often used as aerosol pressurization gas , especially food, for example for whipped cream. Nitrous oxide is thus “very available on alternative festive scenes” since 2015, but also “in other festive contexts: in festivals in Île-de- France or in student parties”. This publication of the OFDT provides little quantified data and is “essentially qualitative”: it is based on ethnographic observations in urban and festive spaces or on questionnaires intended for structures in contact with drug users.

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