Teen Drug Use Facts: Cocaine and Crack Statistics

Cocaine Crack

Teen Drug Use Facts: Cocaine and Crack Statistics

blow, C, coke, crack, flake, freebase, rock, snow

What is it?

Pure cocaine was first isolated from the leaves of the coca bush in 1860. Researchers soon discovered that cocaine numbs whatever tissues it touches, leading to its use as a local anesthetic. Today, we mostly use synthetic anesthetics, rather than cocaine.

In the 1880s, psychiatrist Sigmund Freud wrote scientific papers that praised cocaine as a treatment for many ailments, including depression and alcohol  and opioid addiction. After this, cocaine became widely and legally available in patent medicines and soft drinks.

As cocaine use increased, people began to discover its dangers. In 1911, Canada passed laws restricting the importation, manufacture, sale and possession of cocaine. The use of cocaine declined until the 1970s, when it became known for its high cost, and for the rich and glamorous people who used it. Cheaper “crack” cocaine became available in the 1980s.

Where does it come from?

Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the Erythroxylum (coca) bush, which grows on the slopes of the Andes Mountains in South America. For at least 4,500 years, people in Peru and Bolivia have chewed coca leaves to lessen hunger and fatigue. Today, most of the world’s supply of coca is grown and refined into cocaine in Colombia. Criminal networks control the lucrative cocaine trade.

What does it look ?

Cocaine hydrochloride—the form in which cocaine is snorted or injected—is a white crystalline powder. It is sometimes “cut,” or mixed, with things that look it, such as cornstarch or talcum powder, or with other drugs, such as local anesthetics or amphetamines.

The base form of cocaine can be chemically processed to produce forms of cocaine that can be smoked. These forms, known as “freebase” and “crack,” look crystals or rocks.

Cocaine is often used with other drugs, especially alcohol and cannabis. Cocaine and heroin, mixed and dissolved for injection, is called a “speedball.”

Who uses it?

A 2009 survey of Ontario students in grades 7 to 12 reported that 2.6 per cent had used cocaine and 1.1 per cent had used crack at least once in the past year.

A 2007 survey of Ontario adults reported that:

  • 1.7 per cent had used cocaine in the past year.
  • 7.1 per cent had used cocaine at least once in their lifetime.

How does it make you feel?

How cocaine makes you feel depends on:

  • how much you use
  • how often and how long you use it
  • how you use it (by injection, orally, etc.)
  • your mood, expectation and environment
  • your age
  • whether you have certain medical or psychiatric conditions
  • whether you’ve taken any alcohol or other drugs (illegal, prescription, over-the-counter or herbal).

Cocaine makes people feel energetic, talkative, alert and euphoric. They feel more aware of their senses: sound, touch, sight and sexuality seem heightened. Hunger and the need for sleep are reduced. Although cocaine is a stimulant, some people find it calming, and feel increased self-control, confidence and ease with others. Other people may feel nervous and agitated, and can’t relax.

Taking high doses of cocaine for a long time can lead to:

  • panic attacks
  • psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia (feeling overly suspicious, jealous or persecuted), hallucinations (seeing, hearing, smelling, etc., things that aren’t real) and delusions (false beliefs)
  • erratic, bizarre and sometimes violent behaviour.

With regular use, people may become tolerant to the euphoric effects of cocaine. This means they need to take more and more of the drug to get the same desired effect.

At the same time, people who use the drug regularly may also become more sensitive to its negative effects, such as anxiety, psychosis (hallucinations, loss of contact with reality) and seizures.

Cocaine also makes the heart beat faster, and raises blood pressure and body temperature.

How long does the feeling last?

Intranasal use, or “snorting,” takes effect within a few minutes, and lasts about 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Injecting produces a “rush” that is felt within 30–45 seconds, and lasts 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Smoking causes a high within seconds, but it lasts only five to 10 minutes.

When the cocaine high fades, the person may begin to feel anxious and depressed, and have intense craving for more of the drug. Some people stay high by “bingeing,” or continually using the drug, for hours or days.

Is it addictive?

It can be.

Not everyone who uses cocaine becomes addicted, but if they do, it can be one of the hardest drug habits to break.

People who become addicted to cocaine lose control over their use of the drug. They feel a strong need for cocaine, even when they know it causes them medical, psychological and social problems. Getting and taking cocaine can become the most important thing in their lives.

Smoking crack, with its rapid, intense and short-lived effects, is the most addictive. However, any method of taking cocaine can lead to addiction. The amount of cocaine used, and how often people use the drug, has an effect on whether people get addicted.

Cocaine causes people to “crash” when they stop using it. When they crash, their mood swings rapidly from feeling high to feeling distressed. This brings powerful cravings for more of the drug. Bingeing to stay high leads quickly to addiction.

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can include exhaustion, extended and restless sleep or sleeplessness, hunger, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts and intense cravings for more of the drug. The memory of cocaine euphoria is powerful, and brings a strong risk of relapse to drug use.

Is it dangerous?


While many people use cocaine on occasion without harm, the drug can be very dangerous, whether it’s used once or often.

  • Cocaine causes the blood vessels to thicken and constrict, reducing the flow of oxygen to the heart. At the same time, cocaine causes the heart muscle to work harder, which can lead to heart attack or stroke, even in healthy people.
  • Cocaine raises blood pressure, which can cause weakened blood vessels in the brain to burst.
  • A person can overdose on even a small amount of cocaine. Overdose can cause seizures and heart failure. It can cause breathing to become weak or stop altogether. There is no antidote to cocaine overdose.
  • When cocaine is used with alcohol, the liver produces cocaethylene, a powerful compound that increases the risk of sudden death beyond the risk of using cocaine alone.

What are the long-term effects of using it?

Cocaine increases the same chemicals in the brain that make people feel good when they eat, drink or have sex. Regular cocaine use can cause lasting changes in this “reward system” of the brain, which may lead to addiction. Craving and psychiatric symptoms may continue even after drug use stops.

Regular long-term use of cocaine is associated with many serious health and behaviour problems. For example:

  • Snorting cocaine can cause sinus infections and loss of smell. It can damage tissues in the nose and cause holes in the bony separation between the nostrils inside the nose.
  • Smoking cocaine can damage the lungs and cause “crack lung.” Symptoms include severe chest pains, breathing problems and fever. Crack lung can be fatal.
  • Injection can cause infections from used needles or impurities in the drug. Sharing needles can also cause hepatitis or HIV infection.
  • Cocaine use in pregnancy may increase risk of miscarriage and premature delivery. It also increases the chance that the baby will be born underweight.
  • Because women who use cocaine during pregnancy often also use alcohol, nicotine and other drugs, we do not fully know the extent of the effects of cocaine use on the baby.
  • Cocaine use while breastfeeding transmits cocaine to the nursing child. This exposes the baby to all the effects and risks of cocaine use.
  • Cocaine use is linked with risk-taking and violent behaviours. It is also linked to poor concentration and judgment, increasing risk of injury and sexually transmitted disease.
  • Chronic use can cause severe psychiatric symptoms, including psychosis, anxiety, depression and paranoia.
  • Chronic use can also cause weight loss, malnutrition, poor health, sexual problems, infertility and loss of social and financial supports.

Copyright © 2003, 2010 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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Источник: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/cocaine

Teen Drug Abuse: Warning Signs, Statistics, and Facts

Teen Drug Use Facts: Cocaine and Crack Statistics

Drug abuse, now also referred to as drug use disorder, refers to using substances, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescription drugs, or illegal street drugs for the purpose of getting high. Substance abuse can lead to significant, even life-threatening, health problems. It also increases the risk of accidents, suicide, unsafe sex, and violence.

Teens drug and alcohol abuse is common. Nearly half of American teens have used illicit drugs by the time they are in 12th grade. One in three has used alcohol in the past month.

Teens are more ly to abuse substances if they suffer from depression, low self-esteem, low impulse control, have a history of being abused, or family history of substance abuse.

Teens who receive low parental supervision or communication, or who feel different than their peers are also at risk for drug abuse.

Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are the substances most commonly abused by teens.

  • Almost 34% of high school seniors admit to drinking alcohol within the past month.
  • Marijuana is also frequently abused by teens. In 1991, about 15% of high school students admitted to using marijuana in the last 30 days. In 2019, about 22% said they had. Nearly 37% of high school students have used marijuana in the past.
  • Since 2014, electronic cigarettes have been the most popular form of tobacco among teens. E-cigarettes are more popular than conventional cigarettes by a 4-1 margin in this age group. About 1 in 5 high school students has used e-cigarettes in the past month. Another 5% smoke cigarettes, according to the CDC.

Some street drugs are commonly abused among teens:

  • About 4% of high school students has ever used cocaine.
  • About 2% has ever used heroin or methamphetamine, or taken steroids without a doctor's prescription.
  • About 6.5% of teens have used inhalants such as sniffed glue or inhaled paints.
  • About 7% have used hallucinogens such as LSD and PCP.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications remain targets of abuse for some teens:

  • About 5% of teens have abused ADHD medications such as Ritalin or Adderall.
  • Prescription painkiller OxyContin has been used by about 2.5% of teens in an upward trend.
  • About 3% of teens has use over-the-counter cough syrup or other cold medicines to get high or drunk.

Addiction is a brain condition that results in craving, seeking, and using one or more substances, even though they are harmful.

Physical dependence refers to a state where 1) more and more of a substance must be used to achieve a desired effect (tolerance) and 2) unpleasant symptoms occur when the dose of a substance is decreased or stopped altogether (withdrawal).

Physical dependence is often part of addiction, but it's not required to develop an addiction. In fact, psychological addiction can endure long after the addicted individual has successfully been physically weaned from the drug.

Some substances are more addictive than others. Similarly, some people have more of a propensity for addiction than others.

By the age of 18, more than 60% of teens admit to having had at least one drink. About 1 in 6 teens admits to binge drinking — defined as having five or more drinks in a row within a couple of hours — at least once per month.

Teen alcohol use is associated with a higher risk of death and serious injuries. Teen alcohol use increases the risk of violence, unsafe sex, and other dangerous behaviors.

Alcohol can also affect the brain development of a growing teen.

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug by teens. More than 2 in 5 high school students use pot at least once during any given month. Nearly 30% of teens have vaped marijuana.

Marijuana use is on the rise, in part due to the mistaken belief that the drug is not dangerous.

In the short term, marijuana impairs memory, perception, and judgment, all of which can contribute to the person engaging in risky behavior.

Long-term use of marijuana is known to decrease motivation, as well as impair brain and sexual function. Teens use marijuana to feel relaxed and euphoric, but it can also increase heart rate and induce anxiety, or even psychosis.

Street Names for Marijuana

On the street, marijuana is referred to as ganja, grass, herb, chronic, dope, Mary Jane, reefer, pot, sinsemilla, weed, and skunk. Often, preparations that have a higher content of THC are referred to as hash or hashish, oils, and wax.

After seeing a large decline in teen cigarette use, American teens now use electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes) at a higher rate than they once smoked cigarettes.

About 5% of high school students smoke cigarettes, while nearly 20% smoke e-cigarettes in a given month. Smokeless tobacco has declined in popularity and now around 3% of teens admit to using it.

Overall, nearly 1 in 4 teens uses tobacco in some form. Nicotine in tobacco products is highly addictive.

Common street names for cigarettes include cigs, smokes, singles or butts. Smokeless tobacco is often referred to as snuff, chew, or snus.

After marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol, prescription medications are the substances most commonly abused by teens.

Tranquilizers and sedatives (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium), ADHD medication (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta), and opioid pain killers (Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan) are the prescription medications abused most frequently by teens.

It's a common misperception that abusing prescription drugs is safer than taking street drugs. That's not true. Abusing prescription medication can be very dangerous and even deadly.

Prescription Drug Street Names

  • Tranquilizers and sedatives may go by the street names barbs, reds, red birds, yellows, yellow jackets, candy, sleeping pills, tranks, zombie pills, downers, phennies, tooies, forget-me pill, and Mexican Valium.
  • Common street names for ADHD medications include the smart drug, vitamin R, R ball, skippy, uppers, bennies, and hearts.
  • Street names for opioid pain killers include oxy, percs, happy pills, oxycotton, vike, juice, smack, and demmies.

Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine is commonly abused by teens. About 5% of eighth-grade students admit to abusing cough and cold medicine in the past year. Dextromethorphan (DXM), the active ingredient in these medications, causes excitability, hallucinations, and delusions.

It also increases heart rate and blood pressure. It can cause confusion and dizziness. Common street names for dextromethorphan include Robo, triple C, and poor man's PCP.

Marijuana is, by far, the most common illegal street drug abused by teens. In one recent survey, high school seniors admitted to abusing hallucinogens (7.5%), ecstasy (3.5%), cocaine (4%), as well as methamphetamine, ketamine, salvia, and inhalants (all around 2% or less) in the past year. Use of illegal drugs can have dangerous, even deadly, consequences.

Common Street Drug Names

  • Street names for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) include ecstasy, Molly, Adam, Eve, peace, love drug, X, E, and XTC.
  • Cocaine is known as coke, C, crack, blow, bump, Charlie, rock, and snow.
  • Bath salts are called vanilla sky, white lightening, bloom, or cloud nine.
  • PCP (phencyclidine) is also called Angel Dust, boat, love boat and lovely.
  • Methamphetamine (meth) goes by speed, ice, crystal, fire, and crank.
  • Heroin may be called smack, ska, H, horse, and black tar.

Teens sometimes inhale chemical fumes from paint, gas, cleaning liquids, or glue to get high.

In one recent study, about 2% of high school seniors admitted to abusing inhalants in the previous year. The rate of inhalant use tends to be much higher in preteens and younger teens, though. That difference is thought to be due to the higher accessibility to inhalants compared to other drugs for younger teens.

More than 12% of 8th graders in the last year admitted to use of inhalants.

Many teens incorrectly assume sniffing inhalants isn't dangerous. Using inhalants can cause serious, irreversible brain damage, and even death. Long-term use of inhalants can break down myelin, the tissue that protects nerve cells. This can lead to tremors and muscle spasms similar to those seen in multiple sclerosis.

Street names for inhalants include whippets, snappers, laughing gas, rush, and bold.

Certain warning signs may help parents, teachers, family, and friends determine if a teen has a substance abuse problem. Changes in personality and sleep habits may offer clues.

Trouble at school, significant change in groups of friends, and failing grades may be other signs. A teen who is argumentative, often lies, is withdrawn, or breaks the law or rules at home or school may have a problem.

Red, bloodshot eyes, fatigue, depression, poor health, lack of interest, and changes in grooming, dressing, or appearance may all point to drug use.

Successful treatment for alcohol or drug abuse most commonly involves a combination of behavioral therapy (counseling) and pharmacological intervention. A teen in treatment may undergo individual, group, or family counseling.

First, often the teen undergoes a process of detoxification («detox») to eliminate the abused substance from the body. Certain medications may be prescribed to minimize withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings. It is important to treat any other mental health condition that the teen is suffering from (e.g.

depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder) in addition to directly addressing the addiction in order for treatment to be the most successful.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a Behavioral Health Treatment Facility Locator to help you find alcohol and substance abuse treatment facilities in your area.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Services Locator

You can also call the SAMHSA Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at 1-800-NCA-CALL.

Источник: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/teen_drug_abuse

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