Cocaine Abuse in America

Cocaine abuse has created a huge industry in America. In fact, the U.S. cocaine market was estimated to be worth $70 billion in 2005, which is more than the total revenues of large corporations such as Starbucks. The profitability from cocaine sold in the United States holds large dividends for the illegal drug market. The United States is one of the most profitable illegal drug markets in the world. The U.S./Mexico border is the primary entry point for cocaine shipments smuggled into the United States. A majority of the U.S. cocaine supply is imported into California, Arizona, and Texas by Mexican trafficking organizations. For the eastern U.S., cocaine is still often imported by Colombian cartels through Florida.

In the first six months of 1998 the Semiannual Interagency Assessment of Cocaine Movement estimated that 151 metric tons of cocaine arrived in the United States. Cocaine was readily available in all major metropolitan areas. At the time, powder cocaine retailed at approximately $169 per pure gram, a slight decline from 1997’s price. Cocaine was readily available in all major metropolitan areas. The total amount of cocaine available in the United States was 289 metric tons in 1997, the lowest amount since the 1980s and far below the peak of 529 metric tons in 1992.

Cocaine Usage in America

cocaine_lines_snortingWhile cocaine use is relatively high, the rate of growth appears to be stable. According to a 2005 Monitoring the Future study, 8 percent of American 12th graders and 3.7 percent of 8th graders reported using cocaine at least once in their lifetime. A National Survey on Drug Use and Heath study in 2004 also stated that 34.15 million Americans over 12 years of age reported lifetime cocaine use and 2 million reported current use. Today, about one in six Americans (15 percent in 2007) has tried cocaine by the age of 30, and 7 percent have tried it by their senior year of high school.

The 1998 Monitoring the Future Survey, which annually surveys teen attitudes and recent drug use, reports that lifetime and past-year use of crack increased among eighth graders to its highest levels since 1991. Crack usage amongst a percentage of eighth graders, who reported using it at least once in their life, increased from 2.7 percent in 1997 to 3.2 percent in 1998. Past-year use of crack also rose slightly among this group, although no changes were found for other grades.

Crack cocaine remains a serious problem in the United States. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) estimated the number of current crack users to be about 604,000 in 1997, which does not reflect any significant change since 1988. The highest rate of current users is adults in the 18-25 age range. Women are also less likely to use cocaine than men. In 1997, rates of current cocaine use were 1.4 percent for African Americans, 0.8 percent for Hispanics, and 0.6 percent for Caucasians according go to the NHSDA.

Over the years, cocaine has become more and more abused as a recreational drug, especially in the 1980s. It has powerful chemical properties that increase the psychological properties of addiction, thus intensifying the withdrawal symptoms. In 1997, an estimated 1.5 million Americans were cocaine users, a slight decline from 1996 and a substantial decline from the 1985 figure of 5.7 million. This figure represents 0.7 percent of the household population aged twelve and older. Over the past 10 years, that number has not changed much in regards to current users. A widely accepted number of chronic cocaine users each year has been a steady 3.6 million people. (See Cocaine Street Names.)

Cocaine Addiction

While emergency room visits for cocaine related incidents remained level between 1994 and 1996 according to The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), after increasing 78 percent between 1990 and 1994, 152,433 cocaine-related episodes were reported in 1996. With regular cocaine use, the addict’s body develops a tolerance for the drug and the abuser must continually use an increased amount of cocaine to feel the same high that he has become accustomed to. As the addict abuses higher doses over time, physical dependence and addiction develop. At this point, the body has adapted to cocaine’s presence and withdrawal symptoms will likely occur if the abuse is reduced or halted.

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction to cocaine, please call our toll free number at (866) 872-6495 for cocaine treatment options. Someone is available to take your confidential call 24 hours a day.

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