Cocaine became well-known in the 1970s and ’80s as a party drug, and use of this illegal stimulant drug continues to be a problem today. Cocaine addiction remains prevalent in this country and unfortunately leads to a number of overdose deaths and heart attacks each year.
Cocaine addiction affects everyone in all income groups, ages, and ethnicities. Because cocaine is addictive, no one is immune except those who never try it.
Cocaine use occurs among people of all ages and is often associated with other crimes. Readily accessible and easy to afford, cocaine use statistics are high, demonstrating just how serious of a problem Americans have with cocaine use. Cocaine use is not just common amongst adults – high numbers of teens and college students also succumb to the temptations of the drug.
Consider the following statistics:
- An estimated 1.5 million people over the age of 12 abuse cocaine each month in the United States, which accounts for 0.6 percent of the population.1
- Adults between the ages of 18-25 abuse cocaine more than other age groups, but people of all ages engage in cocaine abuse.1
- While people of both genders and all gender identities abuse this dangerous drug, men are twice as likely to use cocaine as compared to women.3
- 1.5 million (0.6%) people used cocaine (including crack).
- People aged 18 to 25 were more than twice as likely to use cocaine compared with other adults.
- Men (0.8%) were twice as likely to use cocaine compared with women (0.4%).
- Over one in three drug-related emergency room visits involve cocaine, accounting for approximately 40 percent of drug-related emergency room crises.1
- Cocaine constricts blood vessels and increases heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. This can result in seizures or cardiac arrest.2
- Cocaine use can lead to sudden death, even on the first use. Combining cocaine with others substances, such as alcohol, increases the danger of sudden death.2
- Cocaine can cause paranoia and anger and can even lead to auditory hallucinations.3
- Cocaine can speed up the development of HIV and AIDS because it impacts immune function.3
- Repeated use of cocaine rewires the brain and changes the brain’s reward circuitry, which leads to dependence and addiction.3
Cocaine Use Among Teens
The younger you are when you first use drugs or alcohol, the higher your risk of addiction becomes. As much as 90% of Americans who struggle with substance abuse first smoked, drank, or used drugs before they were age 18.2 Parents who believe that their teens have never used cocaine are often surprised to find that their children have easy access to the drug, and many experiment with cocaine and other drugs. Peer pressure can play a role in cocaine the same way it does with other drugs and alcohol.
While not all teens who use cocaine become addicted, the prevalence of teen cocaine use is disturbing.
- Young people may try cocaine as young as 8 years old, and many begin using this dangerous drug at ages 14-15, while ages 16-17 have the highest prevalence of cocaine use among adolescents.4
- Many young people first experiment with stimulants through the abuse of ADHD medications like Ritalin.
- More than five percent of high school students report using cocaine during their years in high school.5
- 3.3 percent of high school and college students report being current users of cocaine.
Teens will make their own choices when it comes to cocaine use, but with proper education and positive role models, they can be encouraged to make smarter decisions and stand up to peer pressure. It takes strength to resist cocaine use when others around them are doing it.
Teens who feel confident about themselves and their decisions will say “no” when presented with the opportunity to get high. Teens are also highly influenced by what they see at home. Parents who are positive role models are more likely to have teens who avoid cocaine use.
“I’ve made relationships with people over the course of my recovery that have been a blessing in my life and helped to keep me on the straight and narrow. I now have true friends instead of just good-time friends. I’ve lived a life that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. It was a bad feeling to look in the mirror each day and hate the person I was looking at. I know that there are people out there still who are living that way, and I’d like to say there is a much better way of life that I never thought possible.”
— Read more of Nick’s story and others at HeroesInRecovery.com.
Don’t Become a Statistic: Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is living with cocaine addiction, you don’t have to continue to live as a statistic. Cocaine rehab can help you heal after addiction through cocaine detox and addiction treatment. Contact us today at 855-317-8377 to learn more about your cocaine addiction treatment options.
1 NIDA. Cocaine. 6 May 2016.
2 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.Cocaine. Above the Influence. Accessed 30 May 2018.
3 NIDA. Cocaine. 6 June 2016.
4 Witmer, D. Teen Drug Use Facts: Cocaine and Crack Statistics. Very Well Mind. Dec 2017.
5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. United States Adolescent Substance Abuse Facts. Jan 2017.