NHS Shetland say that they are “certainly aware” of increasing levels of cocaine use in Shetland.
This came from NHS Shetland Elizabeth Robinson, who made the comments at a joint meeting of the council’s licensing board and the local licensing forum.
While discussing a recent NHS Scotland report which explored Scotland’s relation to alcohol misuse, Ms Robinson said that while it was clear to the NHS that “young people are definitely drinking less” in Shetland, they were also “aware of increased levels of cocaine use”.
She continued that they were noticing a surge in the usage of the drug in combination with alcohol, and warned that you can “create some very dangerous substances” when you combine the two.
“Alcohol is the gateway drug,” she said.
“It leads to people using other drugs.”
In response to a question from councillor Ian Scott about its use, and the use of alcohol, potentially being linked to those in deprived areas, Ms Robinson responded to say that: “Cocaine is actually a really expensive drug compared to cannabis or even heroin”.
An eighth of an ounce, approximately 3.5 grammes, of cocaine would fetch a street price somewhere between £150 to £180, she added.
This, Ms Robinson said, suggested that “people are only using it in very small amounts or they have a lot of money to spend”.
A recent survey into drug and alcohol misuse from the Shetland Alcohol and Drug Partnership found that cocaine was the third highest drug of concern for Shetlanders, behind alcohol and heroin, with many expressing concern about a perceived increase in usage among young people.
More in this Friday’s edition of The Shetland Times.