The Rise of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine in the US Today

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The Rise of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine in the US Today

Cocaine experienced a surge in popularity in the 1970s. It reached its peak in the 1980s. Cocaine was the celebrities’ drug of choice and was used at high rolling, glamorous parties. Can you believe that there were even advertisements for paraphernalia and other items such as calendars with cocaine in them? And this is when President Richard Nixon had waged a war on drugs. However, he was mainly concerned with marijuana and heroin at the time. Therefore, the rise of cocaine and crack cocaine took place.

Cocaine use in the 1970s was mainly among wealthy individuals in society. The drug was expensive and people considered cocaine as relatively safe. It was a stimulant and people thought it was no worse than taking amphetamines which were also popular at the time.

Crack Cocaine Comes on the Scene

Crack Cocaine is a crystallized form of cocaine. It came on the scene during the boom of cocaine in the 1970s and 1980s. Crack looks like small white rocks which are irregularly shaped. It can be heated and smoked. The name “crack” comes from the crackling sound it makes during the heating process.

Throughout the 1980s, the drug market was bombarded with cocaine. Hence, dealers were not making as much money off of their product. Therefore, they decided to cut the cocaine with ammonia or baking soda to lower costs and increase profits. This process was the beginning of crack cocaine. Crack was more available to lower-income individuals than powder cocaine.

The Rise of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine Today

Cocaine and crack cocaine are gaining popularity again in this country after hitting low levels over the past couple of decades. Part of this reason is that drug users are afraid of the heroin on the streets in the US today. Much of the heroin available to users is laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Many heroin overdose deaths have been linked to fentanyl recently. And most times, the user did not know they were getting fentanyl-laced heroin.

Another reason for the rise of cocaine and crack cocaine in the US today is the fact that Colombia is producing more coca (the plant that produces cocaine) than ever before. The drug cartels in Colombia are pressuring farmers to produce coca in place of other local crops. However, there is also a good side to this equation for the farmers. They make much more money farming coca than they do other local crops.

Cocaine Coming from Colombia to the United States

Colombia remains the major provider of cocaine to the United States. And, their coca production increased by 42% only from 2014 until 2015. According to UNODC‘s (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Coca Cultivation Survey Report for Colombia, coca cultivation in Colombia reached the highest ever recorded figure of 171,000 hectares in 2017, which is the equivalent of 422,550 acres.

Cocaine is smuggled into the United States by land, sea, and air through Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. From Colombia, a small portion of the finished cocaine product is taken to airports. The majority of the cocaine is taken to one of the country’s borders or coastlines. If the substance is being moved over land, it is usually hidden in cars or trucks.  Some of the cocaine is moved through the jungle on rivers in small boats.

Cocaine Use in the United States Today

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “In 2014, there was an estimated 1.5 million current (past-month) cocaine users aged 12 or older (0.6 percent of the population).

For whatever reasons, whether it’s the availability of the drug or fear of other drugs, the rise of cocaine and crack cocaine is back on in the United States today. Many users fatalities happen due to the fact that some dealers are cutting the cocaine with fentanyl just as they’ve done with heroin.

Seek Professional Treatment if You are Addicted to Cocaine

If you are addicted to cocaine (or any other substance), seek professional inpatient addiction treatment before you, too, become a fatality. We have a compassionate and caring staff at A Forever Recovery that can attend to all of your needs. To learn more about our facility and how we can design a treatment program for your individual needs and preferences, please contact one of our representatives today. They can answer any questions you may have. Call now!


nixonfoundation.orgPublic Enemy Number One: A Pragmatic Approach to America’s Drug Problem



unodc.orgCoca Crops in Colombia at all-time high, UNODC Report Finds

state.govInternational Narcotics Control Strategy Report

drugabuse.govWhat is the Scope of Cocaine Use in the United States?

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