According to recent surveys, close to 14 percent of all patients who check into drug abuse recovery programs do so because of cocaine addiction issues. It has been estimated that there are around 1.7 million US citizens who are currently struggling with a cocaine addiction problem. An addiction doesn’t just impact the user’s life, but also everyone in their social circle. There are many cases of estranged families, divorces and abandoned children that can be traced back to a cocaine problem. The truth remains that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Cocaine Addiction and Use Statistics
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.
Ready to learn more about cocaine and its effects?
- Cocaine comes from the leaf of the Erythroxylon coca bush.
- Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means that it has the high potential for abuse but can be prescribed by a doctor for legitimate medical purposes.
- It is common to combine cocaine with other drugs and use them simultaneously. One common example is heroin and cocaine, also called a “speedball.”
- Cocaine can be snorted, dissolved in water and injected, or smoked.
- In 2008, about 1.4 million Americans met the criteria for diagnosis of cocaine abuse or addiction in the past year.
- Almost a quarter of the two million visits to the emergency room caused by drug abuse involved cocaine, according to the 2008 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report.
- Snorting cocaine supplies the slowest onset of the cocaine high of all the different ways to ingest the drug but the high lasts between 15 and 30 minutes.
- Short-term effects of cocaine abuse include increased heart rate, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, and higher blood pressure.
- In large amounts, cocaine abuse can lead to violent and irrational behavior and/or intense paranoia.
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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+
Major Money Problems+
Disruption of Sleeping Patterns+
Lapses at Work+
Changes in Behavior+
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.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
The first phase of a cocaine addiction recovery plan involves getting the patient clean of the effects of the drug. This is going to mean draining your body of toxins through withdrawal. The effects of a cocaine detox can be quite debilitating. A person going through this process will generally crash for several days. There will be increased feels of cravings, agitation and irritability. The person could also experience insomnia, nausea and other physical complications. This is why going through detox at a certified rehab center is so crucial. There will be a medical staff on call around the clock to monitor a patient’s condition. If the need for supplemental medication is required, it can be provided right away. A patient will also have their vital statistics monitored for any rapid changes. The entire detox process could last anywhere from three days up to a week.
Once a detox is complete, the patient can approach their treatment with an open mind and clear head. The physical cravings for cocaine can be managed, but what is key to recovery is an understanding of the core problems associated with the patient’s need for the drug. These causes are often rooted deep in the psyche of an individual, and need to be explored and examined. This treatment approach can include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) accomplished through private sessions.
Treatment work continues in a group setting based on 12-step recovery programs. In these environments, patients find positive reinforcement from the strength of the group. Sharing personal stories of despair and redemption is often a great source of support.
Depending on the particular cocaine rehab center, there could also be additional programs designed to broaden the approach of the recovery process. These can incorporate holistic approaches like guided meditation, yoga or acupuncture. This is a total healing approach to mend the mind, body and spirit.
Some patients make a gradual transition back to their life through sober living which is an extension of a rehab stay. Sober living provides a safe and clean environment where the person in recovery will begin to fulfill the basic routines of life such as cooking, cleaning and work. The difference is that they will be returning to this environment every night where continued 12-step and private therapy is ongoing.
Once a successful sober living program has been embraced, patients can rejoin their former lives armed with a new skill set to help stave off potential relapse. The work doesn’t end when the rehab stay is over. Instead, recovery is a lifelong journey full of ups and downs. The difference is leaning how to cope and depend on support systems rather than returning to cocaine u