Cocaine cartoon: Social, environmental cost of drug trade highlighted in new campaign (VIDEO)

© John Vizcaino
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has launched a new initiative to tackle the global drugs trade by targeting the social consciences of casual cocaine users.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact casual use of the Class A substance has on global communities and the environment.

The NCA (Britain’s version of the FBI) has harnessed social media under the hashtag #EveryLineCounts to raise awareness of the initiative. This is accompanied by a cartoon explaining the devastating impact of cocaine production.

Its production has a pivotal role in gang violence both globally and in the UK.

NCA head of drugs threat Tony Saggers says cocaine users who are not aware of the global consequences will be “shocked by the reality.”

He also said casual users are “feeding an industry which routinely uses death, violence and destruction in its production process.” He wants the damage caused by the drug trade to be more widely-known among users.

“Buying cocaine funds the exploitation of impoverished people, destroys and pollutes large areas of rainforest, forces people from their homes so coca can be grown on their land, and results in the murder of police officers and others who stand in the way of powerful crime groups,” he said.

“Cocaine supply is about making money, and the end user drives production.”

By reaching out and educating users who have not considered the consequences, the NCA hopes to cut the global demand for cocaine, which funds a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Only recently an audacious smuggling attempt was foiled involving fake ambulances carrying 193kg of cocaine to the UK – a supply worth up to £1.6 billion (US$2.4 billion).

Colombia, a major producer of cocaine used in the UK, has supported the new NCA campaign. Colombian anti-narcotics police say every pound spent on cocaine in the UK “is money which will be used to buy firearms, which will kill policemen and women.”

Cocaine is no longer just a party drug for the rich and famous. The UK now faces a battle in all areas of society. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) published a report which confirmed the demographic and social spread of cocaine users is widening. 

The report also showed that 743,000 people between the ages of 16 and 59 used the drug in 2013/14, making it the second most-commonly used drug amongst respondents, beaten only by cannabis.

Ben Church for RT