Cocaine Abuse Overview
Cocaine is presently one of the most abused major stimulant drug in America. It has recently become the drug most frequently involved in emergency department visits. It is not a new drug of abuse but is often considered the "caviar" of recreational drugs. Thus, this distinction is reflected in its descriptions; cocaine has been called the champagne of drugs, gold dust, Cadillac of drugs, status stimulant, yuppie drug, and others. Street names for cocaine also reflect its appearance or method of use (such as flake, snow, toot, blow, nose candy, her, she, lady flake, liquid lady [a mixture of cocaine and alcohol], speedball [cocaine and heroin], crack, rock). Names for it can also express its method of preparation, such as freebase. It is more popularly known simply as coke.
There are several noteworthy statistics regarding the use of cocaine in the United States:
Other important facts about cocaine use include the drop in cocaine use in teens as of 2009, a peak in adolescent cocaine use during the 1990s, and the fact that men tend to use the drug more often than women. Adults 18-25 years of age have by far the highest rate of cocaine use.
A common myth is that cocaine is not addictive because it lacks the physical withdrawal symptoms seen in alcohol or heroin addiction. But cocaine does have powerful psychological addictive properties. As more than one user has reflected, "If it is not addictive, then why can't I stop?" The trend in drug abuse in the United States is presently multiple or polydrug abuse, and cocaine is no exception. Cocaine is often used with alcohol, sedatives such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or heroin, as an upper/downer combination. The other drug is also used to moderate the side effects of the primary addiction.
The use of cocaine in teens seems to have certain patterns. For example, while college students tend to abuse alcohol more than teens the same age who do not go on to college, noncollege students seem to abuse cocaine, as well as marijuana and tobacco, more than their peers who attend college. A common polydrug abuse problem, seen especially in adolescents, is cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana.
Drug abuse is more recently referred to as drug-use disorders. It is also referred to as chemical dependency and addictive behavior. Drug-use disorders spare no one and are spread throughout society. They are not limited by age, profession, race, religion, or physical attributes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/3/2015
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