Denis Campbell “Cocaine drug of choice for under-25s, NHS figures suggest” http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/oct/04/cocaine-dependency-heroin-crack-addiction
NTA data passed to the Guardian shows that the number of 18- to 24-year-olds newly presenting for treatment for heroin or crack fell by 22% from 12,320 in 2005-06 to 9,632 in 2007-08, even though drug treatment was more readily available than ever. However, the number of over-35s seeking treatment for the first time rose by 11%, from 20,465 in 2005-06 to 22,770 two years later.
Over the same period, the number of young adults seeking help from a drug treatment service for cocaine problems rose from 1,591 to 2,692 – a rise of 69%.
Overall, the number of young adults seeking help for misuse of heroin, crack or powder cocaine fell from about 14,000 in 2005 to about 12,000 in 2008 – evidence of another encouraging trend.
Heroin became a major problem in Britain in the 1980s amid growing unemployment. Better economic circumstances in recent years may help to explain its declining popularity among younger drug users, said Hayes*2. In addition, he said, "people understand now what using hard drugs like heroin and crack leads to, whereas in the 1980s people weren't so aware of its consequences. It's lost a lot of its glamour. It's associated with losers rather than risk-takers. Heroin and crack are seen as dirty, nasty, horrible drugs, whereas cocaine can be seen by some people as an adjunct to the party lifestyle, in the same way that alcohol can be."
*2:Paul Hayes, the NTA's chief executive