- Chances are pretty good
that cocaine can be found in your purse or wallet. Cocaine hydrochloride is
very stable. It binds closely to the ink in in paper currency. (photo above)
FBI chemists have discovered that traces of cocaine can be found on almost
every dollar bill in the United States. Hence most Americans handle cocaine
every day of their lives.
- Cocaine is a $35 billion
illicit industry now exceeding Columbia's #1 export, coffee.
- Up to 75% of people who
try cocaine will become addicted to it. Only one out of four people who try
to quit will be able to without help.
- Each day 5,000 more people
will experiment with cocaine.
- 1 in 10 workers say they
know someone who uses cocaine on the job.
- Texas is a distribution
and transshipment area for cocaine that is transported (via passenger vehicles
& tractor-trailers) to destinations throughout the United States. Illicit
transporters favor the exploitation of the commercial trucking industry to
move bulk (multi-hundred kilogram) quantities of cocaine. Smaller loads are
routinely seized from privately owned vehicles or from couriers utilizing
- There are basically two
chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt and "freebase."
- Cocaine is classified
as a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance under the federal Controlled Substances
Act and is illegal in most circumstances.
- The negative side effects
of habitual cocaine use that was responsible for coining the phrase, "dope
- In 1994, cocaine-related
episodes comprised 28% of all emergency room drug-related episodes.
- Street names: blow, 'caine,
coke, cola, freeze, snow (powder), base, rock (crack), blizzard, sleet, white
lady, nose candy, soda, snow cone, blanco, cubes.
- In Texas, 200-300 cocaine
overdose deaths are reported each year.
- The number of Americans
that use cocaine weekly has remained steady at around a half million since
1983 according to the 1993 Household Drug Survey; 582,000 (0.3% of the population)
were frequent cocaine users in 1995 (frequent meaning use on 51 or more days
during the past year.
- Cocaine raises body temperature,
heart rate and blood pressure. Even one use causes heart palpitations or cardiac
- Cocaine is psychologically
addictive and research indicates possible physical addiction.
- Young single people are
the most frequent users of cocaine, with male users outnumbering female users
two to one.
- Adults 18 to 25 years
old have a higher rate of current cocaine use than those in any other age
- Cocaine is a drug extracted
from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxlon coca) which grows in South
- Cocaine users will lose
interest in their family, sex, jobs, just about everything, except using more
What is the scope of
cocaine use in the United States?
in 30-day prevalence of cocaine abuse
among students, 1991-1998
In 1997, an estimated 1.5
million Americans (0.7 percent of those age 12 and older) were current cocaine
users, according to the 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).
This number has not changed significantly since 1992, although it is a dramatic
decrease from the 1985 peak of 5.7 million cocaine users(3 percent of the population).
Based upon additional data sources that take into account users underrepresented
in the NHSDA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates the number
of chronic cocaine users at 3.6 million.
Adults 18 to 25 years old
have a higher rate of current cocaine use than those in any other age group.
Overall, men have a higher rate of current cocaine use than do women. Also,
according to the 1997 NHSDA, rates of current cocaine use were 1.4 percent for
African Americans, 0.8 percent for Hispanics, and 0.6 percent for Caucasians.
Crack cocaine remains a
serious problem in the United States. The NHSDA estimated the number of current
crack users to be about 604,000 in 1997, which does not reflect any significant
change since 1988.
The 1998 Monitoring the
Future Survey, which annually surveys teen attitudes and recent drug use, reports
that lifetime and past-year use of crack increased among eighth graders to its
highest levels since 1991, the first year data were available for this grade.
The percentage of eighth graders reporting crack use at least once in their
lives increased from 2.7 percent in 1997 to 3.2 percent in 1998. Past-year use
of crack also rose slightly among this group, although no changes were found
for other grades.
Data from the Drug Abuse
Warning Network (DAWN) showed that cocaine-related emergency room visits, after
increasing 78 percent between 1990 and 1994, remained level between 1994 and
1996, with 152,433 cocaine-related episodes reported in 1996.