Dramatic Drop in Cocaine Use in U.S.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The United States has experienced a significant decline in cocaine use in recent years.


From 2006 to 2011, the number of cocaine users in the U.S. declined 40%, according to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).


Seven years ago, there were 2.4 million cocaine users in the U.S. By 2011, that number had fallen to 1.4 million.


The country also witnessed a drop in the number of first-time users of the drug (from one million in 2002 to 670,000 in 2011). The number of cocaine addicts also fell, from 1.7 million in 2006 to 800,000 in 2011.


“I’ve never seen such a rapid decline for such an addictive drug,” Peter Reuter, a public-policy professor and drug-economy expert at the University of Maryland in College Park, told The Christian Science Monitor.


Part of the drop is attributed to old-fashioned economics. The cocaine industry has branched out, increasing exports to Europe and “emerging markets.” This, combined with a reduction in production in Colombia and increased adulteration of cocaine being sold in the United States, has led to a near-doubling in prices, which, in turn has led drug users to turn to cheaper products such as methamphetamines and bath salts.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky


To Learn More:

Cocaine Use: Will the Factors behind its Steady Secline Continue? (by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, Christian Science Monitor)

U.S. Paved the Way for Cocaine Traffickers…Literally (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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