Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Coke's a Habit Area's Clubs Are Trying to Kick

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Coke's a Habit Area's Clubs Are Trying to Kick

Article excerpt

Byline: By Adam Jupp

Today the Chronicle uncovers the truth about the widespread use of cocaine on Tyneside.

Our investigation tested bars and clubs across the region for traces of the deadly drug.

All of our Home Office approved swabs gave a positive result.

Today, bar owners backed our investigation and vowed to step-up checks on revellers.

And drug treatment workers told how cocaine prices have dropped dramatically over the last year, leading to a surge in the number of addicts.

People taking cocaine use toilet seat lids and cisterns to snort lines of the powdered drug.

Our investigator visited 10 bars on Tyneside to carry out the tests.

We used Drugwipe II test kits, used by police and customs officers in Britain, to swipe the target areas.

On Friday, between 9pm-1am, we went to North, on Neville Street, The Apartment Bar, on Collingwood Street, The Living Room, on Grey Street, Popolo, on Pilgrim Street, and Bar 38, on Newcastle's Quayside. All five gave positive results when we tested them.

And on Saturday, between 9.30-11pm, we tested Bar Bacca and Billabong Bar, on Osbourne Road, Jesmond, Newcastle and 42nd Street, Cruise Bar and Pier 39, in Whitley Bay. All five tested positive.

Today bar owners thanked the Chronicle for bringing the issue to their attention.

Robert Peel, of Peel Hotels, who own Billabong, said: "I'm horrified. Under no circumstances would we ever tolerate it and I'm appalled to hear one of our bars had a positive result.

"But the tragic truth is that it's so inexpensive these days that the kids are doing it."

Chris Haines, manager of North, said: "We have a zero-tolerance policy. We're grateful for the information and certain measures will have to be taken."

Drug treatment workers say the number of people coming to them with cocaine problems has risen. …

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