Cocaine injecting is now more prevalent than heroin in Scotland’s biggest cities, sparking calls for urgent action to prevent soaring drug deaths.

Experts have warned cocaine powder is “much more available and affordable than it’s ever been”, as cheap, high-grade cocaine is flooding streets across Scotland for as little as £10 a bag.

Researchers said increased availability means cocaine is no longer a ‘party’ drug as more turn to it for a cheaper hit than heroin, fuelling a rapid rise in use.

Cocaine-related drug deaths shot up from 45 in 2014 to 459 in 2020 dropping to 371 in 2022, according to the latest figures.

Deaths remain “exceptionally high”, scientists said, ahead of new figures due out next month on deaths since 2023.

Professor Andrew McAuley from Glasgow Caledonian University said: “Since 2014 there’s been a huge surge in cocaine injecting and parallel to that a rise in cocaine- related deaths which increased 10-fold between 2014 and 2020.

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