How Cocaine Addiction Affects Communities

Cocaine is second only to narcotic painkillers when it comes to drug-related emergency room visits. According to the government’s 2010 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report, cocaine accounted for twice as many medical emergencies as heroin and led all illicit drugs with nearly half a million incidents. Cocaine can clearly hurt the user, but its effects ripple out to the community in several ways. In terms of medical care, cocaine-related emergencies can burden hospitals that are already stretched thin, delay treatment for other patients and push costs onto the community if the addict is uninsured. On a broader level, cocaine addiction introduces turmoil into families and friendships and tears away at the fabric of society. For this reason, dealing with a cocaine abuse problem helps more than just the user.

How Cocaine Abuse Hurts Society

In addition to the burden cocaine places on hospital emergency rooms, the drug has far-reaching effects on the rest of the local community. Cocaine addiction impacts society in ways that include the following:

  • Violent or aggressive behavior as a result of cocaine’s stimulant properties
  • Accidents when operating a vehicle or machine while intoxicated
  • Diminished cognitive function that hampers decision making
  • Billions of taxpayer dollars spent annually to combat cocaine trafficking
  • Drug dealers adding risks, dangers and threats to their neighbors
  • Sellers tending to recruit children as scouts due to lighter juvenile sentencing
  • Cocaine and crack addiction as leading factors in violent crime
  • Decreased work efficiency and increased occupational hazards

On a global level, cocaine purchases support violent organizations in South America, including US-designated terrorist organizations like FARC. According to the government’s National Drug Threat Assessment, cocaine also contributes to border violence as the drug is smuggled in through different entry points, particularly Southern California and South Texas.

Cocaine Addiction and Family

A drug problem can impact many others in a neighborhood, but the worst problems generally occur within the home. Cocaine addiction affects the family in many ways, which include the following:

  • Obsessive cocaine seeking can sideline family responsibilities.
  • High cocaine prices can severely strain personal finances.
  • Use can lead to serious legal consequences if the user is caught buying, holding or using.
  • Use can cause aggressive mood swings that can be taken out on family members.
  • Cocaine can cause increased paranoia and psychosis that can lead to arguments.

In a 2009 online article, the BBC became one of many news organizations to highlight the increased risk of partner abuse among cocaine addicts. Through overpowering mood swings and spikes of aggression, cocaine abuse heightens violence toward children, spouses and partners, who are the very building blocks of a healthy community.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Professional rehab is the best way to end cocaine abuse and decrease the risks to family and friends. Proper addiction treatment provides the following:

  • Medically supervised detox in a comfortable and relaxed setting
  • Mental health treatment for co-occurring conditions like depression and anxiety
  • Behavioral therapies that improve life skills and daily habits
  • Examination of drug-use triggers and ways to avoid them
  • Group support to discuss the addiction and hear from others
  • Help to repair relationships strained by the addiction

Rehab also provides aftercare counseling and support to help keep the recovery on track.

Get Cocaine Help Now

Do not let cocaine addiction make you a risk to your family and community. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to discuss warning signs, treatment options and rehab care, and we can check your health insurance policy for benefits. Call our toll-free helpline today and get started on the path to recovery.

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