Little White Lies: True Cocaine Addiction Facts and Statistics

Little White Lies: True Cocaine Addiction Facts and Statistics


Written By: Fiona Stockard

Cocaine Addiction Facts and Statistics

“Cocaine is a helluva drug,” Rick James famously uttered in the mid-2000’s.

Well, Rick was certainly right! Cocaine addiction facts back this up. While cocaine addiction isn’t the epidemic it once was, it’s still prevalent and incredibly dangerous. There’s a lot of information available about cocaine, but how do we know what’s true and what’s hype?


How can we make sense of the facts about cocaine addiction? How can we understand cocaine addiction statistics?

Fine out true cocaine addiction facts today!

Why is crack so addictive and cheap?

Cocaine Addiction Facts

Find seven cocaine addiction facts below:

• Cocaine is made by extracting coca from the leaves of the Erythroxylon cocabush, a bush native to South America. In fact, cocaine is the most powerful naturally occurring stimulant.

• There are huge disparities in the criminal sentencing of cocaine and crack possession. For example, one ounce of crack brings a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. It takes possession of almost seventeen ounces of cocaine to trigger the same sentence.

• In 2006, the average purity of US cocaine was 86%. By 2010, average purity had dropped to 73%.

• Cocaine is the second most abused and trafficked drug in the world (Marijuana’s the first). As of 2006, there had been 756 metric tons of cocaine seized worldwide.

• In 2008, another 50,000 kilos were added to the above number. That’s right, 50,000 kilos (or 110,000 pounds) of cocaine were seized in the US that year.

• In 2011, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, there were over 149,000 hectares used to cultivate coca plants (the plant used to make cocaine). Of these hectares, 62,000 were in Colombia, 61,000 were in Peru, and 31,000 were in Bolivia.

• Cocaine was a main ingredient in many turn-of-the-century “snake-oil” tonics. One, called Tucker’s Asthma Specific, contained 420 milligrams of cocaine. Compare this to Coca-Cola’s nine milligrams per can.

Cocaine Addiction Statistics

Find seven cocaine addiction statistics below:

• In 1985, 17% of high school seniors reported engaging in cocaine abuse at least once. By 2000, this number dropped to 5%. By 2010, this number dropped again to 2%

• Between 30% and 60% of people who use cocaine combine it with alcohol, thereby producing Cocaethylene. Cocaethylene is a metabolite of cocaine and alcohol and is thought to be responsible for nearly 75% of cocaine-related fatalities.

• In 2005, cocaine sent over 448,000 people to the ER.

• In 2006, cocaine abuse sent over 548,000 people to the ER. This accounts for 31% of all drug-related ER visits.

• Also in 2006, cocaine addiction accounted for 49% of all ER detox visits.

• The 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that over 35 million Americans have engaged in cocaine abuse during their lives. Of those 35 million, approximately 2 million are classified as cocaine addicts.

• In 2010, Americans consumed about 145 metric tons of cocaine.

Did you know that Ritalin and cocaine are almost indistinguishable in the human brain?

What Do These Cocaine Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

So, what do these statistics and facts about cocaine addiction mean? Well, they show that cocaine is popular as ever. Cocaine addiction certainly isn’t at the epidemic levels it was in the 80’s, but it’s still alive and kicking.

cocaine addiction statistics

Consider that street level cocaine is almost 75% pure, or that it’s the second most produced and trafficked substance in the world. Consider that cocaine is widely available, and easy to find, in ALL major cities. Consider that cocaine sends around half a million people to the ER each year. Yeah, cocaine’s definitely still popular as ever.

But, these statistics and facts about cocaine addictions also show there’s hope! Remember, cocaine accounted for 49% of all ER detoxes in 2006. Okay, a lot of people are sniffing lines, but a lot are also seeking help! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the more popular a drug is, the more treatment is available for that drug. Addiction is a disease and requires treatment. The good news is that there are plenty of cocaine addiction treatment centers out there!

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