Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill warns of cocaine and heart disease link as Government drug strategy announced

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill has warned of heart disease risk linked with cocaine use following the announcement of the Government's new drug strategy.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 4:18 pm

Ministers announced that a new 10-year drug strategy will allocate £780m in funding for the drug treatment system in England.

It includes £300m to tackle more than 2,000 so-called 'county lines' drug gangs. In some cases, the Government said casual drug users could face losing their driving licences or passports.

Taking the opportunity to speak with the Crime Minister in the Commons, Mr Goodwill reiterated that drug use is not a victimless crime, and is increasingly responsible for causes of heart disease.

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Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill asking a question in the Commons following the Government's drug strategy announcement.

He said: "A couple of years ago, I spent a day with paramedics in Scarborough. I was surprised to discover that they were getting an increasing number of call-outs to professional people in their 50s and early-60s who are suffering from serious, sometimes fatal, heart disease.

"The reason? Regular cocaine use over a number of years. Does the Minister agree that people who think that drug use is a victimless crime might well find themselves being the victims themselves?"

Kit Malthouse, Minister for Crime and Policing, said: "A lot of people underestimate the impact that illicit drugs can have on not only their physical health, but, importantly, their mental health.

"I think all of us may have experience of meeting those who have perhaps taken too many drugs in their past and have seen the damage that that has done to their brains, as well as to their bodies.

"That is perhaps one of the education items that we need to include in our deterrence campaign."

Studies have found that cocaine use significantly increases the risk of heart disease, including young people who would otherwise be at low risk.

The Government’s new strategy is designed to cut crime and reduce both the supply and demand for drugs by getting more people into treatment, breaking the cycle of crime driven by addiction and keeping drug-related violence out of neighbourhoods across the country.

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