Cocaine Usage and its Decline
Drug abuse has plagued the lives of many people and has been a significant cause of death in the
previous years. To specify, cocaine is the third most used illicit drug in the United States of
America after nicotine and alcohol. It has been known to cause immense euphoric feelings and
temporary energy and confidence. The common methods of consumption are either snorting as a
powder or smoking as a rock, which has caused cocaine to be very addictive. The repercussions
of its regular use can be life threatening for both the user and those who surround them.
Cocaine is mostly manufactured outside the United States and is illegally smuggled into the
country. In only 2020, the authorities had seized over 42,000 tons of cocaine trying to enter the
country. This drug is extremely addictive and users can spend about $50,000 on their addiction
which can be financially detrimental for most. An estimation concluded that about 1.3 million
people are victims of cocaine use disorder, where individuals continue its intake despite the
negative effects. Once stopped, they can go through immense withdrawal symptoms and a
repetition of its abuse can cause extreme paranoia, tremors and nausea.
There are various methods of using cocaine and all of these have different symptoms. Snorting
cocaine can cause nosebleeds, loss of smell and the decaying of your septum whereas smoking
can cause lung infections and difficulty breathing. Additionally, the consumption of cocaine
through the mouth can restrict blood flow to the bowel and cause its decay. Lastly, cocaine can
be injected with needles which risks exposure to HIV and hepatitis as well as collapsed veins and
Cocaine use disorder increases the production of dopamine in your brain which can have
behavioral, physical and psychological long term effects. The behavioral symptoms can cause
unusual aggression, paranoia and confusion – similar to schizophrenia. Additionally, users may
have difficulty building healthy relationships due to their dependence on cocaine. Despite the
production of dopamine by cocaine usage, it has been also linked to users having suicidal
thoughts. Physically, cocaine can cause severe weight loss, a depleting appetite and heart issues.
Cocaine users can also have psychological symptoms which include hallucinations.
However, over the years cocaine usage has significantly decreased in almost every demographic
category. The use of cocaine amongst teenagers over the past 20 years has miraculously reduced.
Comparatively, it went from 2.1% in 2002 to 0.4% in 2020. In young adults (18-25), cocaine
usage reduced from 6.7% in 2002 to 5.3% in 2020. Lastly, in older adults (26 and above) it
dropped to 16.5% in 2020 from 17.3%.
Ultimately, these numbers prove that cocaine usage has been declining in almost every
demographic category. However, even though the numbers for 2022 look promising, a lot of
individuals are still abusing cocaine.
There are several treatment options available for those who are stuck in an endless cycle of
torture. Drug abuse has already stolen a lot from the lives of these people, including their
livelihood and families. Even though the numbers have reduced and continue to do so, it is
essential that individuals help in completely eliminating them for a better tomorrow.