The White House conducted a drug survey in 2008 to assess the prevalence of cocaine use and addiction. This was called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. These are some of the findings:
- Around 36 million Americans who were over the age of 12 admitted to trying cocaine even if that meant a single use. This number translates to 14.7 percent of the total US population in that age range.
- In the previous year of this study, close to 5.3 million Americans admitted to using cocaine within the last 12 months while 1.9 million admitted to using the drug within the last month.
- First-time users over the age of 12 accounted for 722,000 persons who tried cocaine in the past 12 months. This breaks down to around 2,000 new users every day. The good news is this number is actually lower than figures reported for 2007. Overall, there has been a decline in cocaine use since 2001.
Stats on Teens Abuse+
The White House Drug Policy study also delved into the specific area of cocaine use among teenagers. These are the report’s findings:
- Of high school and college students, 3.3 percent admit to being current cocaine users.
- Eight percent of high school students said they tried out cocaine while they were still in high school.
- In terms of access to the drug, 19 percent of eight graders, 28 percent of 10th graders and 38 percent of teens all told researchers working on the White House Drug Policy that is was easy to get a hold of cocaine when they wanted it.
Cocaine Crime Statistics
Using, buying or selling cocaine is a crime. Attached to cocaine trafficking and use are many other criminal activities such as gun possession, robbery and murder. In fact, around 17 percent of incarcerated inmates told researchers that they committed some form of crime to pay for their cocaine use. When it comes to importing cocaine, sadly America has become number one on this list.There are even more crime statistics related to cocaine use:
- Around 20 percent of the current inmate population was arrested while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- According to the DEA, in 2004 alone illegal cocaine activity accounted for over 12,000 federal drug busts.
- The DEA also has found that minute particles of cocaine substances can actually be identified on nearly all the paper money in circulation throughout the country.
- The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that over 27 percent of the prisoner population in 2004 admitted to be frequent cocaine or crack users.
Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use
The short-term effects of cocaine use can show up instantly even with first-time use. Among these effects are:
- Rise in body temperature
- Increase in heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- Constricted blood vessels
Long-Term Risks of Cocaine Use
Cocaine is an extremely addictive substance. Habitual users often build up a tolerance for the drug which leads to increased usage. This cycle of addiction also feeds the potential for arrest and/or causes permanent physical damage and in some cases even death.
The most common form of cocaine use is to snort the drug in powdered form. Over time, this continuous snorting can cause damage to nasal membranes that results in frequent nosebleeds and even a loss of smell. A person who injects cocaine on a regular basis runs the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis from shared needle use.
Warnings Signs of Addiction:
Hanging with a New Crowd+
This is one of the most common and easy-to-spot physical symptoms. If a person simply gets a nosebleed, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a cocaine abuser; however, persistent nosebleeds should be a red flag for cocaine use. This is because with constant use, cocaine actually damages nasal membranes, forcing them to collapse and bleed.
Major Money Problems
A cocaine addict can quickly spiral into financial ruin as they continue to feed their habit. If your loved one is constantly borrowing money, selling off valuables or if you suspect them of stealing from you, it might be an indication of a growing cocaine problem
Disruption of Sleeping Patterns
Cocaine abuse often occurs via a pattern of long binges followed by extended periods of crashing out. A person who is spending a lot of daylight time in bed “recovering” from the night before could be having an issue with the drug.
Lapses at Work
When a person crashes from a cocaine binge, the last thing they want to do is get up for work. This could put their job in jeopardy. Continually missing work could force their manager to dismiss them. This could only increase the pressure for them to find money and use.
Changes in Behavior
Despite what some people think, cocaine abuse isn’t a lot of fun. In fact, it can cause a person to suffer through panic attacks and experience bouts of paranoia. There will also be mood swings, lashing out and other forms of disruptive behavior as their bodies are thrown into upheaval from the drug use.
The Physical Effects of Long-term Cocaine Use
Cocaine also acts as an appetite suppressant. As a result of ongoing use, a person can begin to experience rapid weight lose which can have a debilitating overall impact on their body.
- Chest pains
- Blurred vision
- Heart attacks
- Respiratory failure
Beyond the physical risks, there are also emotional issues to contend with. A person who finds themselves struggling with cocaine addiction could also be experiencing periods of paranoia, mood swings and hallucinations. They will also begin a pattern of lying and stealing to support their habits. Too often these conditions lead to the dissolution of marriages and the fracturing of families.