The plummeting price of cocaine is behind teenagers as young as 13 being treated for cocaine abuse, warns drugs and alcohol charity Addaction.
The influx of youths requiring treatment across Scotland has been so severe that the charity has lowered the age threshold of its services from 14 to 13.
In South Lanarkshire, 62 people under the age of 16 used Addaction’s services in 18 months, while in Argyll Bute, staff have reported an increase in both the availability and purity of cocaine.
The problem with young people using cocaine is that it’s an appalling drug for growing brains
The drug is also the primary problem for the charity in South Ayrshire, while cases are also on the rise in Fife across all age groups.
Jacqueline Baker-Whyte, who leads the Addaction’s services in Hamilton where youngsters aged just 13 have been treated, said: “We’ve had 13-year-olds attend our service for help with cocaine problems. It’s obviously a very small number of kids, but there are quite a few in the 15 plus age group.
“In general we’ve never seen so many people come to us for problems with cocaine. Part of the reason is price, but it’s also about supply. Young people in particular are using social media and the dark web to buy cocaine.”