Cocaine is the second most trafficked drug in the world and one of the most abused drugs in the US.
Cocaine is an illicit stimulant that reacts with the CNS to generate high levels of energy and
euphoria. Also known as coke, blow, or powder, cocaine is most often available in the form of
powder and crystal that is is snorted, smoked, or dissolved in water and injected. Any use of
cocaine is regarded as abuse as it is an illegal substance that can cause complications such as
organ failure, mental disorders, and respiratory failure.
Cocaine abuse has steadily increased in the past few decades. Despite its illegal standing, many
individuals continue to experiment with or use cocaine due to its euphoria and highly addictive
nature. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), cocaine use has
remained relatively stable since 2009.
One of the immediate dangers associated with cocaine abuse is an overdose. Nonfatal
overdoses caused by cocaine can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical health.
From 2016 to 2017, ER visits due to nonfatal overdoses for all drugs, including cocaine,
Cocaine overdoses are fatal in most instances. Without the necessary medical intervention, the
complications of a cocaine overdose can worsen and eventually lead to death. Fatal overdoses
remain high in the United States, and, in certain populations, fatal cocaine overdoses
outnumber that of heroin and opiate.
Recent studies suggest that around 40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical
criteria for addiction. That’s more Americans than those diagnosed with heart disease, cancer,
Cocaine abuse inflicts enormous financial and social costs on an economy. Apart from
premature deaths due to overdose, cocaine abuse also costs the US economy billions of dollars
in loss of productivity, incarceration, hospitalization, and treatment.
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