Cocaine can kill, warns hospital consultant

A hospital consultant is warning using cocaine just once can be enough to kill you.

Fergal Hickey was responding to a report showing that Ireland has one of the highest rates of cocaine use in Europe.

The study from Europol and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction says Ireland is among a small group of countries where use of the drug is still classed as relatively high.

Fergal Hickey, a consultant in emergency medicine at Sligo Regional Hospital, says part of the problem is the image of cocaine as a middle class drug.

And he's seen the fallout from the drug first hand: “There is this assumption that if they are taking it, it must be fine. The nonsense that it’s not addictive is clearly wrong. The nonsense that it’s harmless is also clearly wrong. We have seen people have heart attacks and strokes as a result of cocaine who shouldn’t have.”

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