Hard drug use on the rise

Although cocaine was once considered an exclusively jetset drug it, along with other drugs, are being taken by a broader demographic

Police seized 57 kg of cocaine in 2005, 25 kg more than the year before. The increase paints a shocking picture of growing drug used according to a report on organised crime by the National Police Force.

'It really jumps out at you because it's such an extreme increase,' said Michael Ask, deputy police chief and head of the monitoring and analysis department of the police's National Investigation Support Centre (NEC). 'Cocaine was previously considered a jetset-drug but it has become more and more common.'

The illegal cocaine market in Denmark is significantly larger than the quantity of drugs currently available on the streets, according to the report which also stated that cocaine has the highest usage rate among people taking drugs.

Law enforcement authorities believe that the incidents of drug use are growing in general, and not only cocaine, is also reaching smaller cities and towns. The price on drugs has also fallen, signalling an increase in drug use across the country.

'Ten years ago, drugs like cocaine were primarily found in Copenhagen, but now we see it over the whole country. We can find drugs in the smallest town,' Ask told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

The amount of hash and ecstasy has also risen, while amphetamines have seen an explosive growth of over 300 percent. Last year 196 kg of amphetamine were seized compared to 63 kg in 2004, largely due to a 125 kg drug bust in the northern Jutland town of Frederikshavn. Heroine is the only drug that has not seen an increase in users.

The report states that the majority of drugs available on the streets are imported into the country in cars, trains or on airplanes.

'We are seeing a 'super-market' strategy where criminal groups deal with whatever they can. One day it could be cocaine, something less the next and cigarettes on the third,' said Ask

There is, however, no distinct profile of who is smuggling the drugs across the border, besides that their customers are organised crime groups looking to make a profit.

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