"As in recent years, the second most commonly used drug in the last year among adults aged 16 to 59 was powder cocaine (2.9% in the 2018/19 survey, equating to around 976,000 people). Among young adults aged 16 to 24 it was the third most commonly used drug (6.2%, around 395,000 young adults), behind cannabis (17.3%) and nitrous oxide (8.7%). Trends in last year cocaine use are prone to fluctuation from year to year, as can be seen in Figure 1.5, making it difficult to interpret short-term trends in cocaine use.

"Powder cocaine use among 16 to 59 year olds increased between the 1996 and 2000 survey years (0.6% to 2.0%), driven by a sharp increase among the 16 to 24 age group (1.4% to 5.2%). These increases were followed by slower rises to reach a peak in the 2008/09 survey for both 16 to 59 and 16 to 24 year olds (3.0% and 6.5% respectively).

"From 2008/09, last year use of powder cocaine fell before starting to rise again in 2011/12 for both age groups (see Figure 1.5 below) and there has been a general upward trend since. Although there were no statistically significant changes between the 2017/18 and 2018/19 surveys, there has been a statistically significant increase in powder cocaine use for both age groups compared with the 2011/12 CSEW. Last year use of cocaine increased among adults aged 16 to 59 from 2.1 per cent in the 2011/12 CSEW to 2.9 per cent in 2018/19. The comparable figures for those aged 16 to 24 were 4.1 per cent and 6.2 per cent."


Drug Misuse: Findings from the 2018/19 Crime Survey for England and Wales. Statistical Bulletin 21/19. National Statistics. Home Office. 19 September 2019.