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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Survey shows cocaine price fall
Cocaine powder
The street price of cocaine went down by 20%
The average street price of cocaine in Glasgow has fallen 20% since last year, a survey by charity DrugScope has said.

The study for Druglink magazine also found the price of cannabis resin had halved in some areas of the city.

But it said Glasgow was one of the most expensive drug markets in the UK for herbal cannabis, ecstasy and LSD.

Police denied falling prices reflected a failure to interrupt supply and said there was evidence that purity levels of street drugs were falling.

Director of the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency, Graeme Pearson, said that increased seizures suggested police were hitting supplies to the streets.

He said: "There is no doubt that there is a bigger market of intent in terms of cocaine.

"But those who supply cocaine into the market are using other chemicals to adulterate the product that is sold."

The survey of frontline drug services in 15 UK locations in July found that the price of cocaine cost 40 per gram in Glasgow compared to 50 last year.

Scottish drug users are very DIY orientated
Craig Sherry
Drug worker

It also said that the street price of cannabis resin, 40 per ounce, was up to half as much as 12 months ago.

The street price of heroin remained constant at 70 per gram.

The survey said that the amphetamine market in Glasgow had largely disappeared and the market for crack cocaine was "practically non-existent".

Craig Sherry, from Glasgow East Community Addiction Team, said: "Crack is relatively new to Glasgow, we started seeing people using it two years ago.

"We have very few crack-only addicts here, it's mainly people using as a secondary drug to heroin.

Reducing the demand

"They are making rocks themselves because it is cheaper. They know what they are getting and they have been shown how to wash it up by friends.

"It's very simple. Scottish drug users are very DIY orientated."

Ketamine, a veterinary anaesthetic with strong hallucinogenic qualities, which has become a significant drug in markets throughout the UK, has also failed to gain a foothold in Glasgow.

The Scottish Drugs Forum said the findings were "broadly in line" with the situation as they are experiencing it.

A spokeswoman for the drugs information agency said: "As drug prices continue to fall, it highlights the need to focus on reducing the demand for substances."

Scottish Socialist Party MSP Rosemary Byrne called for reform of drugs laws.

She said legalising cannabis would allow more effective regulation and heroin should be made available on prescription to addicts, cutting out the dealers and helping those addicted to "stabilise their lives".


SEE ALSO:
Call to address cocaine addiction
31 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Concern over rise in crack use
29 Sep 04 |  Scotland
Bid to improve addiction services
27 Aug 03 |  Scotland


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