A new campaign has been launched to highlight the problems caused by cocaine use and distribution.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has unveiled #EveryLineCounts, a video campaign which aims to get recreational cocaine users to think about the wider impact of the drug trade. It includes a hard-hitting animation called ‘How to make cocaine’.
The video describes how the process of making cocaine involves destroying areas of rainforest, causes problems with the local water supply in communities in Colombia and is surrounded by a culture of violence, gangs and organised crime.
The NCA is hoping that casual drug users may think again about taking cocaine when they realise the social impact and far-reaching consequences of their actions.
Tony Saggers, the NCA’s head of drugs threat, said: “Recreational users, who perhaps care about the exploitation of workers in sweatshops or environmental abuses, often have no idea of the damage funded by their occasional line.
“We think many of them would be shocked by the reality. When they use cocaine, aside from putting their own lives at risk, they are feeding an industry which routinely uses death, violence and destruction in its production process.”
He added: “Buying cocaine funds the exploitation of impoverished people, destroys and pollutes large areas of rainforest, forces people from their homes so coca can be grown on their land, and results in the murder of police officers and others who stand in the way of powerful crime groups. Those harms are usually out of sight of the end user, and we don’t think they should be.”
Drug money is used to fund organised crime
The NCA has estimated the social and economic cost of the UK’s drug supply is approximately £10.7 billion each year. The agency has been involved in the seizure of more than 70 tonnes of the class A drug from 2014 to 2015.
Major General Ricardo Alberto Restrepo, from the Colombian Anti-Narcotics Police, has got behind the UK campaign, saying: “Each pound spent to buy drugs in the UK is money which will be used to buy firearms, which will kill policemen and women as well as other victims linked to drug trafficking.”
Cocaine, often referred to as Coke, gives people a powerful high but it also raises their heart rate and temperature and can cause them to take harmful risks. When the effects of the drug wear off it can also cause people to feel low and depressed.
If you’re concerned someone in your life is misusing cocaine, it is important to help them get help and support. AlphaBiolabs sells drugs tests which can allow you to find out for sure whether your loved one is using illegal substances.