Swiss People Consume Five Tonnes Of Cocaine Every Year, Says Shocking New Study

Written by
Marcus Barnes

According to a recent study Swiss drug users consume five tonnes of cocaine every year.

The shock figure was one of several key findings in a study by independent organisation Addiction Suisse.

It was also found that cocaine is the most popular drug in Switzerland, making up around four fifths of the total market.

"With the exception of cannabis, the market for cocaine is bigger than that of all other drugs combined," said Franck Zobel, deputy director of Addiction Suisse. 

That lucrative market is thought to be worth 47–57 million francs a year in the canton of Vaud with profits for distributors and dealers estimated at 28–39 million francs a year. 

The study was based on an examination of the size and nature of the cocaine trade in Vaud, which is considered to be a microcosm of Switzerland as a whole with its urban centre and rural areas. 

"Cocaine isn't expensive. A line, whether it's 0.1 or 0.2 grams, comes in at about 15 to 20 Swiss francs, or about the same as a cinema ticket," Zobel said.  

Using the results from Vaud and applying them to the rest of Switzerland as a whole, the experts behind the study estimated 13.7 kilograms of cocaine is consumed in Switzerland every day. That is around five tonnes per year, the equivalent of a large Asian elephant.

The results of this study are based on tests conducted on wastewater in Vaud, which was analysed for the presence of benzoylecgonine, which is excreted in the urine of cocaine users.

This information was combined with an ongoing series of interviews with around 11,000 people on their drug habits. 

Those interviews showed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that there is no typical profile for cocaine users. 

Last month Addiction Suisse revealed findings of another study based on data from the Swiss Society of Legal Medicine and drug analysis projects by the organization that showed the purity of cocaine was increasing.

A European wastewater study, conducted in March this year, recorded the cities with the highest cocaine rates for overall average consumption. In that study five Swiss cities featured in the top nine – Zurich, St Gallen, Geneva, Basel and Bern.

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