People in Ireland are among the biggest cocaine users in the world, according to a new UN report.
A new global study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has found that Ireland trails only Spain, the Netherlands and Australia for the use of the drug.
Over 2.4% of the population or almost one in every forty people here reported using cocaine in the previous year.
Australia accounted for the highest use of cocaine in the world - with 4.2% of the population using the drug over the same period.
The report raised concerns over the increased demand for the drug here - and whether it will lead to further violence among criminal groups.
UNODC's first Global Report on Cocaine 2023 highlights the cocaine situation in relation to global supply and demand.
Learn about the latest trends, challenges and actions needed to address this global issue 🎥⬇️
Full Report: https://t.co/XWLZTPiHrO pic.twitter.com/U5KyO3BYfz
— UN Office on Drugs & Crime (@UNODC) March 16, 2023
The study outlined how users in Ireland are often given the drug for free but are then ordered to carry out crimes to pay off their debts.
It referenced reports of the violence and intimidation connected with the dealing of cocaine at a community level and a potential new trend where children as young as ten participate in intimidation practices.