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Bristol has been named the cocaine capital of Europe

Over taking Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris

Bristol has been named the cocaine capital of Europe following experts finding high levels of the Class A drug in the city's sewage system.

In gaining this title, Bristol has overtaken the likes of Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich and Antwerp.

In order to gather information about the continent's drug taking habits, experts analysed wastewater from 73 cities within 20 European countries.

Experts tested for benzoylecgonine (BE), the chemical produced when the body breaks down cocaine.

In Bristol, the average daily concentration of BE amounted to 969.2mg per 1,000 people, significantly higher than the results from previous years.

A report published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said: "The BE loads observed in wastewater indicate that cocaine use remains highest in western and southern European cities, in particular in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

"While it may indicate that more people are consuming cocaine, it may mean that there is greater use of cocaine by the same people.

"Alternatively, it may simply reflect the increased purity of cocaine in Europe, leading to increased metabolite detection in wastewater."