For the most part, this piece of news is good news: use of cocaine in the United States is on a decline, so much so that drug cartels are allegedly trying to find new markets for the drug.
Based on the results of the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, use of cocaine in the United States went down by 37 percent – a significant figure. In addition, data from the major testing firm Quest Diagnostics Inc. indicated that positive results for cocaine in workplace drug testing went down by 65 percent in the same period.
Cocaine use among teens has also gone down to the lowest levels since the 1980s, according to the results of the “Monitoring the Future” survey. Use of crack (cocaine in rock crystal form, usually smoked) is also at levels that are far lower than levels in the 80s and 90s.
Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy, shared that these figures “should be heralded as basically very good news about cocaine.” Dr. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the Department of Health and Human Services, on the other hand, gave the opinion that “the crack epidemic, as it was, appears to be over.”
The decline in cocaine use is being attributed to the fact that the price of cocaine has increased since 2007, but quality of the drug has gone down, according to data provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration. It also seems like drug education and prevention programs, which have been going on for decades, are slowly taking effect.