This story is over 5 years old.


This Is How Long It Takes to Get Cocaine Delivered in Cities Around the World

In Australia, you'll have to plan days in advance and part with $300.
Photo: Chloe Orefice

Cocaine is everywhere. Whether you’re buying it from the back seat of Prius in Manchester's Norther Quarter, via the dark web or Instagram, or over the counter from a McDonald's in the Bronx, it's never been easier to get the bags in.

The report that followed the 2016 Global Drug Survey pointed out that "cocaine remains popular as the stimulant drug of choice for those with money". This might seem inconceivable to anyone who prefers saving £50 to spending it on half-gram baggies of benzocaine, but the drug's popularity continues to endure. According to the 2016 European Drug Report, 3.6 millions adults throughout Europe tried cocaine that year.


One of this year’s aims for the Global Drug Survey is to discover how the speed of drug delivery varies from city to city worldwide – and it’s not an idle concern. "Drugs that take effect quicker are known to cause higher rates of dependence," says Adam Winstock, founder of the Global Drug Survey. So, while it might seem convenient – according to a VICE survey conducted last year – that one in five Brits can get hold of coke in less time than it takes for a pizza to be delivered, this, teamed with the dependency issue, could be a dangerous mix.

You can have your say on how the world buys and uses drugs with the Global Drug Survey here. But, in the meantime, here’s how some of the world’s cities compare when it comes to getting gak delivered to your door.

Melbourne, Australia

Last week, VICE Australia published an article in which a writer purity-tested punters' coke at the Melbourne Cup. Most illuminating was that, despite finding gear laced with ephedrine and levamisole (an immune system stimulant used to treat parasitic worm infections), overall the quality was better than the writer had presumed it would be. "My faith in Australian cocaine has been somewhat restored," he declared, in a backhanded compliment to his homeland’s infamously shit coke.

I spoke to an old friend, Jenny, who has been in Australia for five years, and who you could say was a semi-enthusiastic drug user in her salad days.


VICE: How long does it take to get coke delivered in Melbourne?
Jenny: It takes forever, and you have to order it well in advance. And it’s shite.

How much is it?
It’s like AUS$350 (£200) to $400 (£230) a gram

So you'd have to order it the day before? No spur-of-the-moment post-pint calls.
Yeah. Sometimes the week before. So it’s shit and expensive.

And people still do it?
Yes. But they’re idiots. I’m actually glad it’s such a nightmare to get hold of, because I rarely do it.

WATCH: The Council House Scam – The Cocaine Dealer

Barcelona, Spain

According to the 2016 European Drug Report, 3 percent of Spain’s young adults have tried cocaine.

This means that they, along with the UK and Netherlands, have the highest rate of use in Europe. That, twinned with a tourism boom that sees over 30 million tourists descend on the Catalan capital each year, has created a roving drugs economy that anyone who’s walked Las Ramblas after dark will be familiar with.

My friend Ben lives there and gets some in once a month. At least, that’s what he says.

VICE: How do you get coke delivered in Barcelona?
Ben: I have two guys, both who I only speak to through WhatsApp. You’re not allowed to call them. One drives to wherever I am in the city, within reason, and the other is by pick-up only.

How much is it?
The guy who drives is €50 (£45). The other guy is €70 (£60).

How long does it take?
The delivery can be anything from 15 minutes to an hour. It depends on where he is, I guess. The guy I buy from lives near Las Ramblas, and it depends on whether he’s in or not. If he is, he’ll just buzz you in straight away.


What’s the quality like?
Mostly 6/10. Isn’t it everywhere?

Pristina, Kosovo

Kosovo has traditionally been a spot on the heroin trail, as it wends its way to Western Europe from Afghanistan. Cocaine tends to be associated with neighbouring Albania, whose gangs are major players in the global trade and quite likely stepped on that gram you bought last Thursday.

I got hold of Lukas from Pristina to chat delivery times.

VICE: How long does it take to get your coke delivered?
Lukas: Forty minutes, max. The dealers usually come with a car. I guess they're quite busy, because Pristina is really small and you can drive anywhere in ten minutes.

Is it always by car?
Usually. On the rare occasions it’s by foot you agree somewhere before.

How much is it?
There is €50 for 0.75g and €60 for 1g – though this is rarely a full gram. Sometimes there's "better" stuff for around €70.


Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff’s drug scene is perhaps best known for providing the world with the dealer Pieter "Posh Pete" Trutton, who went to university in the city before dropping out to deal full time. Although he’s no longer active in the Welsh capital – or, in fact, anywhere (he's now an author) – there remains a thriving drug scene, as befitting any city with a redbrick university.

I spoke to Sam, who’s studying there.

VICE: How long does it take to get your coke delivered?
Sam: Usually around 30 minutes – less time than a Deliveroo or an UberEATS. Sometimes longer, never shorter. It comes by car.


How much is it?
It's £80 to £90 for a gram of flake, AKA the "better stuff". And yes, you can actually tell the difference between that and pub grub.

How did you meet your dealer?
I'm a not-so-mature student. The lad I buy from is another local student here. He’s studying Law, obviously.

Brussels, Belgium

Belgium: a land of quaint canals and expensive beer. Not necessarily somewhere you'd assume would contain Europe’s most cocaine-quaffing city – but research this year found that Antwerp had the highest levels of cocaine in its waterways. The European average is 700 milligrams per 1,000 of the population, while Belgium's capital is 1,950 milligrams, meaning it’s usurped London as Europe’s official "cocaine capital".

Despite numerous shout-outs on social media, I couldn’t find anyone from Antwerp. I suppose Antwerp's cocaine users, while prolific, are kind of shy. I did, however, speak to Sebastian, a journalist from Brussels, which pisses out a relatively paltry 500 milligrams per 1,000 people.

VICE: How long does it take to get cocaine delivered in Brussels?
Sebastian: Anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes.

How is it delivered?
Car or motorbike.

How much does it cost?

What’s your relationship with the dealer?
I don’t have one. He’s a dealer.

Fair enough.

So bar those in Australia – whose cocaine supply is understandably hampered by the fact it's an island in the middle of an ocean, miles from any traditional trafficking route – everyone I spoke to seems to be able to get gear delivered in around the same time it takes for an UberEATS driver to reach your address, not find your door and then ring you about not being able to find your door.

But to help researchers gain a more accurate understanding, head to the Global Drug Survey and tell them (anonymously) how you buy and consume drugs.


Thanks to all the users from Sesh Safety who helped with this article.