The Drug Capitals of the UK: REVEALED

There are some serious problems across the UK when it comes to drug addiction and more people than ever before are seeking drug rehab to try and tackle their problems.

Numbers entering centres such as Linwood House are increasingly worrying, particularly when you consider all the people who aren’t seeking the help they so desperately need. Across the country, more and more drug rehab centres and charities are being set up to tackle the problem, but where exactly is the problem at its greatest?

We take a look at the drug capitals of the UK…



Of course, it makes sense to start in the capital. London is a major hub for drug trafficking and every day on the news you see raids capturing millions of pounds worth of goods. Recently, there was a jailing for a £3million cocaine raid, while the Met are constantly recording their largest ever stashes.

Boroughs such as Wesminster, Camden and Tower Hamlets have earned notoriety for their high rates of drug-related crime and addiction, while in the city there’s a strong association with cocaine and the high-powered white collar jobs that many of the skyscrapers house.


You don’t have to look far back to remember the huge problems the likes of ecstasy had on the party scene in Manchester, with the famous Hacienda nightclub closing down as a result of gang-related violence, largely fuelled by drugs.

Even today the city has a vibrant nightlife and a large student population which contribute to its reputation as a hotspot for drug use and distrubition. More deprived areas such as Moss Side and Salford are also well-known for their drug taking and gangs, with the prevalence of county lines also magnifiying the problem even further.


In many of the more deprived parts of Scotland, drugs are a serious problem. While Trainspotting may have highlighted the problems in Edinburgh many years ago, areas such as Possilpark, Govanhill and Easterhouse have notorious drug problems and the number of overdose deaths is quite staggering.

Drugs are cheap and accessible across Glasgow, particularly when it comes to opioids, contributing to high rates of addiction and mortality.


The second largest city in the UK, Birmingham has extensive transport links across the country making it a strategic location for drug traffickers. The city’s diverse population and economic disparities create conditions that are conducive to drug use and distribution with areas such as Aston, Handsworth and Newton having particularly high levels of drug-related crime and addiction.


Finally, even Liverpool’s most iconic export, The Beatles are well known for their experiments with drugs, with Paul McCartney only recently spotted smoking a joint in his 80th year!

However, the city itself has much more significant problems, despite efforts to address the issues through law enforcement and community based initiatives. Areas such as Toxteth, Kensington and Anfield struggle particularly with drug abuse.

It was once known as the drug capital of the UK, but the Government has invested millions in trying to cut drug abuse and the crime associated with it in the city, while there are a large number of rehab centres and charities supporting people that need it most in Liverpool these days.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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