Crack Cocaine Use Increases
Back in the 1980’s, much of the “Just Say No” campaign centered around the use of crack cocaine. Known for its highly addictive qualities and low street price, it was an easy way to hook underprivileged Americans into drug use and took thousands of lives. Thankfully crack hasn’t made headlines in a while and appeared to be on the decline. But according to a recent Business Insider article, that is not the case anymore. It claims that the narcotic’s popularity is surging again, thanks to issues like unemployment and increased availability.
Using the headline “Crack Is Back“, BI outlined some scary statistics; chronicling its rise and its newer, more potent formula. To better understand this drug, we thought we’d outline its accessible nature. Part of the reason that crack is so inexpensive is because it is “cooked” from batches of cocaine. A small bag of coke can contribute to a large supply of crack, making it, as BI says, much more “economical” for low income users. It was for this reason, that U.S. lawmakers passed the “100-1 Rule,” which equivocated one gram of crack to 100 grams of powdered coke (for jail and sentencing terms). Many argued that this helped slow its widespread use, but also led to a surplus of incarcerations and overpopulation in the prison system.
Crack is typically smoked (or free based), but more modern cases have seen it become a popular injectable drug. For the record, it is much more potent than coke and has been shown to cause long-term neurological and neuropsychiatric issues after frequent usage. It also causes severe damage to the heart and lungs and its risk of dependence is three times greater than that of cocaine.
These days crack is more affordable than ever, with a price drop of 13 percent since 2007 (per BI). Its usage has reportedly increased by 10 percent this decade, with numbers rising every year. And that rise is attributed mostly to younger demographics. Though the average age of crack addicts entering treatment is 35, there is a 30 percent increase in people under 25 who are being picked up for using.
So the question becomes, what’s causing the latest surge? BI does a solid job of laying out some hypotheses. Unemployment was the major factor that they called out, particularly among 20-somethings and college grads. There is no denying that it’s getting tougher for young people to break into the workforce. Whether it’s depression, boredom or just an inexpensive way to get high, this drug appears to be much more attractive to that set nowadays.
If you or anyone you know is facing an issue with crack cocaine, we urge you to seek out help immediately. As mentioned above, this drug can do long-term damage at an alarming rate. Don’t wait until it gets too late.
Cocaine Use Increases and Statistics
According to CBS News, there may be a “tidal wave’ shipment of the cocaine headed to our shores.
We bring this up because of another alarming fact. CBS shared evidence that cocaine use among Americans is on the rise. As we all know, it is a very addictive substance and can tear lives and families apart.
CBS stated that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) saw a 26% increase in use among U.S. citizens from 2014 to 2015. Additionally (and most startling), there has been a 54% increase in cocaine overdose deaths in the past five years.
There are also reports that cocaine is becoming a popular complement for opioids. In New York, for example, the blend of coke with fentanyl led to 37 % of the state’s overdose deaths last year.
Now for the really scary news. The amount of cocaine coming into our country is about to see substantial growth. So much so, in fact, that authorities are calling it a potential “tsunami” of white powder.
“I talk about it as really an approaching tsunami of cocaine getting ready to hit the global market,” Coast Guard Adm. Christopher Tomney told CBS.
This comes after a major bust that happened on Miami’s shores. 16 tons of cocaine were seized in recent weeks, with a street value of roughly $420 million.
Tomney went on to add that smugglers are becoming more and more sophisticated, with countless kilos sneaking by customs and the Coast Guard.
“Last year, the task force set an all time record, stopping 285 metric tons of cocaine, he explained. “But it’s only a fraction of the total flow.”
There has also been some frustration from these organizations because, as they tell it, not enough resources and attention are being given to the cause.
“It’s very frustrating for the men and women of this task force knowing we could be doing so much more,” Tomney went on to say. “But it really comes down to a series of choices. … How much do we want to make this a priority?”
Truly some alarming statistics, particularly when you consider that with limited resources they were still able to seize 285 tons. We can only imagine the amount that DIDN’T get flagged by the task force.
With that in mind, we are urging our community to be on high alert. If you or someone you love is vulnerable to cocaine, there may be some dangerous times ahead. Particularly because with a street drug like this, there is no telling its potency. If help is needed, please reach out. 866-986-2486
Cocaine Overdose Increases
Cocaine has been flagged as an extremely dangerous narcotic for generations now. But according to new research, this stimulant may now be causing more havoc than ever. Per The National Center for Health Statistics, the number of drug overdoses involving coke nearly doubled over the past two years.
The exact figures are staggering. Per the Center’s report, there were 5,982 cocaine-related deaths in 2014 and a whopping 11,316 in 2016. In our opinion, that should certainly be raising alarms. This isn’t a gradual increase by any means, but rather a drastic trend that is claiming hundreds of lives each week.
The opioid crisis still accounts for the majority of America’s drug OD’s, but combined we’re talking about over 30,000 deaths a year. The report authors flagged that point, emphasizing that the country’s substance abuse problem should not be ignored.
“Throughout the study period, cocaine ranked second or third among the nation’s top 15 drugs,” the report claimed. “From 2014 through 2016, the number of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine nearly doubled, accounting for nearly 18 percent of all overdose deaths.”
One recent explanation for the spike has to do with deadly drug combinations (also influenced by the opioid epidemic). Police agencies have reported that fentanyl is now commonly being laced into batches of street cocaine. That drug, which has ties to opioids, is considered extremely dangerous and highly addictive.
There are also people that knowingly blend their drug stashes together. Those who abuse opioids may also incorporate cocaine into their binges, putting themselves at an even greater risk of OD’ing. The way this study was measured, anyone who overdoses and had at least some coke in their system qualified as a statistic.
Fentanyl alone was responsible for 18,335 OD’s in 2016, making it the number one deadliest drug on the Center’s list. They also issued a stern warning about meth, which ranked roughly fourth in their rankings. In the past year, over 6,700 overdoses were attributed to that particular substance.
Of course, our advice is to steer clear of all of these deadly drugs. But it is very important to get the word out about this increase in cocaine deaths. Many “casual users” are unaware of the stronger strains being sold on the streets. You may not even be a full-blown addict, but if you happen to get too strong of a batch; an overdose is entirely possible.
If you or anyone you are close is suffering from a cocaine problem, please make sure they’re educated and aware of the help that’s available to them