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Record numbers of elderly people hospitalised for cocaine abuse

RECORD numbers of elderly people are being hospitalised for issues triggered by cocaine abuse, stats show.

The class A drug — usually linked to footie yobs, city workers and youngsters — is increasingly responsible for ruining the mental health of older people.

Record numbers of elderly people are being hospitalised for cocaine abuse

Latest figures obtained from the NHS show there were 517 occasions last year when someone over 60 was admitted with mental and behavioural problems linked to cocaine use.

That figure is up 25 per cent on 2020 — and is double that of five years ago.

Meanwhile, the number across all ages admitted has fallen from 15,060 before the pandemic to 12,470 in 2021.

The NHS England data from last year shows eight coke-linked admissions of people in their 90s and 15 in their 80s.

The surge is mirrored by a rise in the number of elderly users seeking NHS treatment to beat their addiction to the drug.

Latest figures show 336 people aged 60 or over in treatment for their cocaine habit — a rise of more than 50 per cent on the 219 five years ago.

Official estimates suggest around 3.6million people in England and Wales have tried cocaine at some time in their lives, with 987,000 having used it in the last year — making it the country’s most popular illegal drug after cannabis.

Nuno Albuquerque, of the UK Addiction Treatment Group, said: “Cocaine users in their 60s, 70s and 80s might not be used to the potency of the drug available for the last few years, and so this has led to greater issues directly linked to their overall mental health.”

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