We interrupt your regularly scheduled cannabis news to bring you an update on the blizzard front. Cocaine, to be exact. Ahead of Gordon Ramsey’s two-part documentary series Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, which exposes the restaurant business’s under-the-radar cocaine problem, we’ll take a look at which countries use the most cocaine.
The documentary begins tonight, and is hosted by the rambunctious Ramsey in an effort to squash one of the industry’s biggest problems. The Hell’s Kitchen persona has said he’s seen the drug ruin many careers, and it even took the life of his close friend and protege David Dempsey, who perished in 2003 after binging on coke and falling out of a window.
“I saw cocaine quite early on in my career,” Ramsey said. “I’ve been served it. I’ve been given it. I’ve had my hand shaken and left with little wraps of foil in it. I’ve been asked to dust cocaine on top of soufflés, to put it on as icing sugar… coke’s everywhere in the restaurant world. It’s spiraling out of control.”
In honor of Ramsey’s cause, let’s check out which countries use the most cocaine.
The statistics, which were made available by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website, gives a rough percentage of each country’s population that uses the drug between age 16-59.
Albania checked in at number one, with 2.5 percent of the country’s total population using it. Scotland checks in at number two with a 2.34 percent figure, and the United States a close third with 2.3 percent.
The UK comes in at number four with a 2.25 percent figure, with Spain (2.2 percent) and Australia (2.1 percent) checking it at five and six respectively.
Uraguay placed seventh on the list with 1.8 percent of their population indulging in the drug, with Chile (1.73 percent), the Netherlands (1.6 percent) and Ireland (1.5 percent) rounding out the top 10.
Surprisingly enough, Columbia, arguably the world leader in cocaine production and distribution, only placed 34th on the list of which countries use the most cocaine—with only 0.7 percent of the population reportedly using the drug.
If you’re curious to see where other countries check in on the list, you can find the actual statistics here.
Final Hit: Which Countries Use the Most Cocaine?
If you’re surprised by these figures, well you’re not alone.
Overdose deaths skyrocketed 19 percent in the U.S. between 2015 and 2016, and cocaine certainly played a role. While most of the deaths accounted for prescription opioids and heroin, there has been an influx of deaths caused by cocaine laced with the synthetic opiate fentanyl.
Unfortunately, the statistics for 2017 aren’t available until December, but experts predict we should see an even larger jump in overall deaths from 2016 to 2017.
What is even more troubling is the federal government’s view on cocaine, amongst other hard drugs, in terms of scheduling. For comparison’s sake, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug, while cocaine remains on the Schedule II spectrum.
Despite the feds’ opinion, we’ll stick to the ganja.