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Popularity of crack cocaine on city streets: An alarming trend

09-12 | By CSAA Team

Popularity of crack cocaine on city streets: An alarming trend

Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca), which is indigenous to some parts of South Americas. Though originally used as a natural painkiller, it soon became a substance of abuse because of its potent stimulant properties.

Besides triggering a number of euphoric effects, it has the potential to inflict negative or depressive symptoms, cravings, sleep-related problems, etc. Despite the above side effects, a large number of people are swerving at an alarming rate towards substances like crack cocaine. In fact, it has rapidly snowballed into a gigantic problem.

Crack cocaine

Crack cocaine is a crystallized form of cocaine that was developed by drug dealers to counter the drop in the price of cocaine. Since injecting cocaine is quite an expensive affair, there has been an incredible increase in crack cocaine that can be smoked. Being easier on the pocket and the brain, a majority of the users tend to take up crack cocaine for experiencing all kinds of euphoric effects. Crack cocaine looks like blocks or crystals of varying colors that ranged from yellow to pale rose or white that proved highly profitable to the dealers.

Crack, a more potent substance than regular cocaine, has been named so because it makes a cracking sound when heated. Smoking crack surges an immediate and intense but very short-lived feeling of high that lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. Moreover, a person could get addicted to crack cocaine even at the first try. Though crack is cocaine’s cheaper cousin that even teens can afford, a person addicted to it is likely to see his or her expenses skyrocket over time.

Alarming statistics on crack cocaine

As of now, up-to-date and accurate numbers of active cocaine users in the United States is hard to access or determine. However, the current available data portrays a worrying picture especially in the context of the American youth.

According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey, conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), almost 5 percent of 12th graders had used cocaine and more than 2 percent of them had tried crack cocaine.

Another survey National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the same organization that included older adults reported that 16 percent of the respondents in the age group 26 and above had tried cocaine and 3.7 percent had tried crack cocaine. This has multiplied the risk of death and other dangerous repercussions among the users of crack cocaine.

There are over 6 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12 who have used crack cocaine at least once. Although the use of cocaine is currently lower than that witnessed during the peak period of the 1990s, there has been an upward trend in consumption among the vulnerable population of youngsters under the age of 18. This would have implications some years down the line when they attain adulthood.

Drugs waste time and life

Recent data suggest that about 1.4 million Americans who are actively abusing cocaine would come under the classification of being wholly dependent on cocaine as per definitions by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the primary guideline for diagnosing mental health disorders. Considering the consequences of crack cocaine and other substances, it becomes essential to speak to an expert for alleviating any kind of fear and inhibitions.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors for information about the state-of-the-art substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-300-5857 or chat online with our representatives for further information about evidence-based substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado.

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