Back in the 1980’s we often heard about cocaine use and abuse but now it seems we hear more about heroin/opioids. However, although many people believe that cocaine is not a major threat like it used to be when cocaine use peaked in the 80’s, recent show that cocaine use is on the rise again.
For instance, a study performed by the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that although cocaine use declined until the early 1990s, cocaine use has been rising in the United States since. Also, it is estimated that about two million people are cocaine addicts in the United States, and that between 22 and 25 million people have used cocaine at least once. Also, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), about 0.7 percent of the population in the US aged 12 and older used cocaine – including crack cocaine – in the past month. Although 0.7 might seem like a small amount of the population, it translates to over a million new users a year.
New reports also indicate that cocaine users used to be closer to 18 and now are more college aged – closer to 21 on average. Cocaineabuse.us indicates that drug-statistics.com reports that college students have been increasing their use of cocaine – up to 4.8 percent from 2 percent in 1994. Also noteworthy is the fact that men are more likely to use cocaine than are women. However, more and more females are being reported as abusing cocaine. In fact, more than 400,000 infants are born addicted to cocaine each year in the United States.
Another interesting fact is that the rate of cocaine use is found according to racial lines. The most common group of cocaine abusers is American Indians and/or Alaskan natives. Their rate of cocaine use is about 2 percent. Other cocaine use rates include 1.6 percent for African Americans, 0.8 percent for Caucasians, 0.8 percent for Hispanics, 0.6 percent for Pacific Islanders and/or Native Hawaiians and 0.2 percent for Asians. As a result, some agency resources are being concentrated in areas where certain races reside and cocaine use is higher. (cocaineabuse.us)
The good news comes from the younger generation. That is to say that cocaine abuse among high school students is actually down from where it once was. Recent studies indicate that high school sophomores are using cocaine less. Again, cocaineabuse.us states that the, “NIDA reports that past-year use of crack cocaine decreased in 10th graders from 2.3 percent to 1.6 percent. This is encouraging, and it is hopeful that today’s teenagers will continue to avoid cocaine even after they reach the 18-25 age group. Sadly, however, there is speculation that the decline in cocaine use among today’s teens has less to do with the anti-drug campaigns, etc. and more to do with the inexpensive availability of prescription drugs.
Statistics and studies show that while opioid use is a definite concern and factor in today’s “anti-drug” campaigns, cocaine use is once again on the rise and should not be ignored.