Cocaine Abuse and Addiction; a Rising Issue in the U.S. Today
All About Cocaine
Cocaine is a drug of choice for many individuals in current times and throughout history. Originating from the coca plant of South America, cocaine is a naturally occurring drug. That does not make the drug safe or harmless by any means though. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Cocaine is a highly addictive, controlling, and dangerous drug. Even though the substance is naturally occurring, the refined powder or crack rock forms of cocaine can cause overdoses, deaths, and powerful addictions when taken and abused.
Cocaine, next to heroin, is probably the oldest drug that is still used today. Cocaine is also without a doubt the most addictive drug in the world. Statistics and studies show that roughly three out of every four individuals who try cocaine, even if just once, will become addicted to it. Here-in lies the power of this drug. While it does not create as powerful of chemical dependencies as alcohol or heroin does, the drug is still immensely mentally and spiritually addictive, and those who take it seldom can get away with trying it just once.
Cocaine Abuse Symptoms; How to Tell When a Loved One is Abusing Cocaine
Because this drug is so immensely addictive, and because it is so easy to overdose on it and potentially die from it, it is of the utmost importance to know all of the signs and symptoms of cocaine use and abuse. In this way, if one suspects a family member or loved one of abusing cocaine than he or she can study the following list of symptoms and effects of cocaine use to determine if the situation is real or not. The list is as follows:
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose (snorting)
- Nosebleeds (snorting)
- Track marks (injecting)
- Burned lips or fingers (smoking)
- Fast heart rate
- Constricted blood vessels
- Enlarged Heart
- Heart attacks
- Cardiac arrest
- Unusual excitement
- Poor judgment
After long use or a binge:
- Intense cravings
- Need for higher doses
- Long periods of sleep
Cocaine Addiction and Abuse Statistics; a Problem that is Out of Control
Some have thought that because so many other drugs have come out more recently than cocaine that cocaine has decreased in popularity to give way to newer and more interesting drugs. This is not true. Actually, cocaine has become even more popular in modern day American life. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), have both conducted extensive research projects and fact finding missions to determine just how serious cocaine abuse is today. Some of their results have been listed below:
- Alarmingly, one out of every four Americans between the ages of 26 and 34 has used cocaine at least once in their lifetime.
- Though it is rather dated, according to a 1985 report by the Minnesota Institute for Public Health and Drug Prevention Resource Center, a little over 5,000 adults in the United States try cocaine for the first time each day. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), this daily number of first time users of cocaine has not gone down at all, and has rather increased.
- Today in this day and age all across the world it is estimated that 22 to 25 million people have tried cocaine at least once in their lives. Some estimates indicate that there are well over two million cocaine addicts in just the United States today. Other estimates indicate that a number of six to eight million would be more accurate
- Contrary to earlier and desired belief, a high dosage use of cocaine can actually be detected as long as 10 to 22 days after its use. Of all the drugs, it is the one that stays in the bloodstream the longest, poisoning vital bodily functions and systems for all of the time.
- According to the DAWN organization for the monitoring of ER visits, nearly half of all drug related emergency room visits are due to cocaine use and abuse.
- In spite of all of the other new and exciting drugs on the market these days, the actual annual number of new, first time cocaine users has still generally increased over time. For example, in 1975 there were only 30,000 new users. The number then increased from 300,000 new users in 1986 to 361,000 in the year 2000. It is projected that in the year 2015 over four-hundred thousand Americans will try cocaine for the first time.
- Cocaine abuse has also become a lot more common and popular in U.S colleges as well. For example, rates of cocaine use by college students over the past five years has varied between only a mere two percent of all students in 1994 to over five percent in the year 2000.
- Of high school seniors in the year 2001, more than eight percent reported having used cocaine.
- From the years of 1997 to 2000 cocaine was the most common drug reported in emergency room episodes.
- Cocaine use among men is almost twice that of cocaine use among women. Based upon additional data sources, the office of National Drug Control Policy estimates the number of chronic cocaine users at three and a half million in the U.S. alone.
- Adults 18 to 25 years of age currently have the highest percentage of cocaine use than any other age group, and the age of first time use of cocaine has been getting younger and younger as the years go by.
- 90% of cocaine users drank alcohol or used marijuana before trying cocaine, and one of those two drugs was their gateway to cocaine.
- Though it is an old statistic, in 1988 about 300,000 infants were born addicted to cocaine. This still happens frequently today.
- Cocaine’s popularity has not been dwarfed by newer and potentially more exciting drugs. Cocaine is the second most commonly used illicit drug (following marijuana) in the United States. All together, more than thirty-four million Americans (fifteen percent of this age group’s population) of the age of twelve or older have used cocaine at least once in their lifetime.
- Cocaine is the most addictive drug in the world. While only about twenty-five percent of individuals who try heroin just once will become addicted to it, more than seventy-five percent of people who try cocaine will become addicted to it.
- Each day 5,000 more Americans will experiment with cocaine for the very first time.
Finding Sobriety and Recovery from Cocaine Addiction
Because cocaine is so immensely addictive, the only way to effectively fight and completely remove a cocaine addiction is to go through an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment and rehabilitation center, facility, and program. Only an inpatient center has what it takes to bring one down off of the most addictive drug on the planet.
In an inpatient rehab program, one will have access to the necessary counseling methods, rehabilitation techniques, therapies, modalities, detox services, group sessions, life skills, educational segments, aftercare options, coping strategies, and relapse prevention techniques. Without a doubt, for one to kick a cocaine addiction, inpatient rehab will be necessary.