Rich Britons used the most cocaine last year since 2009

Francesca Washtell
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Drug Abuse
Cocaine use rose among wealthier Britons in 2015/2016 (Source: Getty)

Is this a sign that we've reached a new level excess? Are people powdering their noses more than since the recession?

According to new figures, wealthy Britons took a lot more cocaine in the last year than they did the year before.

In 2015/2016, 2.2 per cent of adults between the ages of 16 and 59 took powder cocaine, equating to around 725,000 people - second only to cannabis.

Use among younger people between 16 and 24 years of age was 4.4 per cent, the third most used drug after cannabis and ecstasy.

Read more: London is the European capital of flushing cocaine down the loo

This was similar to the previous year, when 2.3 per cent of 16 to 59-year-olds partook in some of the infamous white powder and 4.8 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds, according to figures released in the 2015/2016 Crime Survey for England and Wales by the Home Office.

However, three per cent of adults in the same age group from households with an income of £50,000 or more reported taking powder cocaine last year, up from 2.2 per cent the year before, the Press Association reported.

This was the highest amount of cocaine use since 2008/2009, when three per cent of 16 to 59-year-olds and 6.5 per cent of the younger demographic used it.

Read more: Two-tier cocaine market gathers pace as drug grows in popularity

A majority, 61 per cent, of powder cocaine users only took the drug once or twice a year.

Around one in 12 people had taken a drug in the last year, the Home Office report found. This equated to around 2.7m people, or 8.4 per cent of the population.

This level of drug use was similar to the 2014/15 survey (8.6 per cent), but is statistically significantly lower than a decade ago (10.5 per cent in the 2005/06 survey).

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