As a highly addictive and destructive drug, cocaine is an illegal Schedule II substance created from a South American plant native to that continent. After harvesting, the plant is processed so as to allow for use as an incredibly potent stimulant drug. Crack cocaine statistics prove that the effects of cocaine on the system include intense energy, alongside a burst of euphoria and an urge to talk incessantly. These powerful forces arent the only impact of cocaine use. The body will also be in danger from increased blood pressure and a racing heart.
Cocaine is a substance that was used by South Americans for many years as a stimulant, but natives would only chew the leaves to get high instead of processing the coca leaves. The plant was used for medicinal purposes, and South Americans believed that all sorts of ailments would be cured after chewing the leaves such as asthma, indigestion, and even malaria.
This medicinal use is entirely different from what addicts experience today, according to crack cocaine statistics. The modern form of this addictive drug was first seen in the middle of the 1800s when a man named Albert Neiman processed cocaine for the first time by turning it into a powder that could be snorted or used by doctors as an anesthetic. By the early part of the twentieth century, the American government saw a problem with cocaine abuse and labeled it as a controlled substance through the Harrison Narcotic Act.
Although the drug is primarily grown in South America, cocaine and crack cocaine use are wholly associated with American life. Addiction crosses racial lines, and demographic boundaries are called by a host of different names like nose candy and blow and come in multiple forms for use.
Difference Between Crack Cocaine and Cocaine
Cocaine use in the United States is a problem, but one of the reasons why getting this illegal activity under control has been so difficult for law enforcement has been the existence of crack cocaine. Cocaine is sometimes injected by drug users, but this method is expensive, and not all addicts can afford cocaine in this form.
An alternative method of using cocaine is through a form that can be smoked. This type of cocaine is referred to as crack cocaine, and since it is much cheaper and easier to obtain, this kind of cocaine is often what an addict will use to get high. Crack cocaine is also much more accessible to young people and individuals who are a few steps removed from a direct supplier of cocaine.
Youth and Disturbing Crack Cocaine Statistics
A report from the United State Sentencing Commission suggests that accurate numbers on how many active cocaine users reside in the United States are lacking. The numbers currently available, however, do provide a disturbing picture of youth in America.
The United States National Institute on Drug Abuse provides yearly statistics regarding cocaine use in America. A recent study, called the Monitoring the Future study, which asked questions about drugs of kids in school showed disturbing numbers. Questions included whether kids had ever tried cocaine or if they were consistent users. Results suggested that almost 5 percent of 12th graders had tried cocaine and that over 2 percent of 12th graders had tried crack cocaine.
Another survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that included older adults, called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, showed that over 16 percent of respondents who were 26 years of age and older had tried cocaine and that 3.7 percent of respondents had tried crack cocaine. What is significant about this study, conducted in 2011, is that results suggested a massive increase in the use of crack cocaine by almost all age demographics.
Data collected by the Institute of Addiction Medicine suggests that increasing numbers of young teens are trying illicit drugs like inhalants and marijuana as young as 17-years-old, and cocaine use tends to start at around 20-years-old. Each time statistics are collected regarding drug use and crack cocaine statistics, numbers for teen users in many categories of drug use seem to increase.
Usage Statistics for Crack Cocaine
With an estimated million regular users of crack cocaine in the United States, the chances of death and health problems associated with the use of this destructive substance are significant. The National Drug Intelligence Center suggests that drug abuses involving cocaine arent tied to any age group or demographic. Numbers tallied from surveys on the subject reveal that over 6 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have tried crack cocaine at least once.
Numbers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse do show that the use of cocaine in all forms today is lower than it was at the drugs peak in the 1990s, but that the most vulnerable demographic, people under the age of 18, are increasing rates of use. This could cause some adverse trends in the next several years when those kids reach adulthood while already addicted to cocaine.
Some of the most recent numbers regarding active addiction for individuals abusing cocaine suggest that almost 1.4 million Americans would be classified as wholly dependent upon cocaine under definitions provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual is the primary instrument with which mental health professionals diagnose individuals with mental problems.
Risk of Health Problems and Death from Cocaine
Further disturbing statistics come from a report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network that revealed problems with cocaine were responsible for almost a quarter of the 2 million emergency room visits that were due to drug abuse. That means that out of all types of substance addiction that put people in the hospital or emergency room, cocaine still represents a considerable danger.
One of the reasons why cocaine and crack cocaine are so devastating an addiction is because someone doesnt even have to be dependent on the drug to have significant health complications. Regular use of cocaine has been shown to be the cause of a great many different problems like seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. Some users even experience heart attacks during use while a small percentage of first-time users die during their first cocaine experience.
The risk of death from the first use of cocaine before someone would even be classified as an addict is something that places the drug in an elite category of exceptionally dangerous substances. One of the principal issues to consider regarding the effect of cocaine on the body is that it doesnt matter whether the material is injected or whether a person takes crack cocaine. The impact on the body remains just as injurious, no matter how the drug is consumed.
The health problems that may result from use cause it to interfere with the natural chemical messages sent throughout the brain along nerves called neurotransmitters. Cocaine may disrupt the proper absorption of essential chemicals like dopamine and serotonin and after the high from the drug wears off, the brain may have problems operating normally again.
Unfortunately, after using cocaine an addict may experience issues of anxiety, irritability, paranoia, and restlessness, in addition to a host of physical ailments ranging from nasal perforation to gastrointestinal failure due to oxygen starvation in the gut.
Spread of Cocaine Uses to Middle-America
In the 1990s, according to crack cocaine statistics, places like California and New York were plagued by deaths from cocaine abuse, and the epidemic of cocaine use in many urban areas was a significant cause for concern. Interestingly, those areas of high cocaine use have relinquished their titles as the field in the United States for highest cocaine use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (through the National Vital Statistics System) recently showed that increases in cocaine abuse from residents in many states were up significantly.
While overall deaths from drug overdoses in places like California and New York were under 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively, overdose statistics in places like Oklahoma reached amazingly high levels with a rate of almost 17 percent for that state. Likewise, Louisiana showed a rate of drug overdose deaths at nearly 18 percent while Utah was plagued with a rate at approximately 18.5 percent.
Statistics for deaths each year due to cocaine are at a rate of over 6,000 nationwide as reported by the National Vital Statistics System. Since the arrival of the millennium, deaths from cocaine have traveled upon a generally upward trajectory. Deaths were somewhere around 3,000 in 1999 and reached almost 7000 by 2006. With crack cocaine statistics suggesting increases in use from youths in the United States, these deaths will undoubtedly increase over the next decade if measures arent taken to stop young people from trying cocaine.
Drug use in the United States for cocaine and crack cocaine continues to plague Americas youth, and older adults are also showcasing a penchant for using this illegal substance. The number of users is disturbing in and of itself, but the fact that recent surveys suggest dramatic increases of abuse means that steps must be taken to curb these addictions before more lives are lost to this destructive drug.