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Canadians do cocaine and “totally” trust their dealers more than most other countries, according to a giant new report on global drug use.
The Global Drug Survey 2019, led by Dr. Adam Winstock and his team in London, surveyed more than 130,000 people across 36 countries.
Researchers asked 1,960 Canadians how many days they used cocaine in the last 12 months.
Canada had the second-highest median number of days with 10 — which is almost once a month and close to double the global answer of six days a year. Canadians reported using half a gram of cocaine, which matches the average worldwide.
“It’s not a surprise,” said Susan Bondy, an associate professor at the University of Toronto. “We sit high for drug and alcohol use in a lot of these studies.”
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Scotland ranked number one for cocaine use at 12 days a year, and Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and England tied Canada for second place.
But six of 10 Canadians who do use the drug want to do less, compared with 61 per cent of Italians, the most conflicted populace in the survey on drug use.
Despite being the most expensive drug in the world, the price of cocaine in Canada compared to the rest of the world might make it hard to quit. It costs about $85 per gram here compared to the global average of $120.
Canadians’ reputation of respect also popped up in the report. Just under 70 per cent reported “totally” trusting that their dealer wouldn’t be violent or abusive.
But the study also showed more troubling statistics for Canadians’ use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) — barely legal copycat drugs such as party pills and synthetic cannabis.
“NPS vary widely in their risk profile with inconsistent composition and potency often being significant factors in the risks they pose,” the report reads.
“Drugs with a psychedelic effect profile (including LSD imitations) are on the increase while potent novel opioid drugs like acetyl fentanyl and carfentanyl have been responsible for scores of deaths in Canada and these are the ones to watch in future years.”
We sit high for drug and alcohol use in a lot of these studies
The report found 12 per cent of Canadians used NPS, which was the second highest number and almost three times greater than the global average of 4.3 per cent. Males 25 and under were most likely to use these drugs, which were primarily powders, crystals and pills designed to create hallucinations.
Though, Canada gained praise for how it has handled legal cannabis.
“Mentioning harms won’t be easy for some cannabis companies and committed consumers,” the report reads.
“The reality is that mandating health warnings is the only reasonable approach any country legalizing cannabis can adopt. To date, none apart from Canada have chosen to do so.”
Some of the study limitations included a very homogenous sample, with white people making up 86.9 per cent of respondents. The Global Drug Survey Team aims to expand its research into Asia and the Middle East.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019