Statistics About Cocaine Use

Overdose deaths from cocaine use are rising, with more than 16,000 people dying in 2019.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1 million people over age 12 in the U.S. have a cocaine use disorder.

In 2019, 5.5 million people age 12 and over in the U.S. reported using cocaine in the past year.

5 Fast Facts about Cocaine

Cocaine is highly addictive and is linked to many mental and physical health problems..

The high from a single dose of cocaine only lasts about 30 minutes to an hour, which is one of the reasons people engage in repeated use.

Cocaine is involved in nearly 1 in 5 overdose deaths.

Cocaine is often laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, which increases the chance of an overdose.

Cocaine abuse increases risk of negative effects on almost all of the body’s major functions.

About Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is one of the most potent and highly addictive stimulants available. Cocaine addiction can develop for a few reasons. One reason is that cocaine creates a sense of euphoria by preventing dopamine from being reabsorbed. But once cocaine wears off, the brain struggles to make more dopamine, which results in depression, exhaustion and mood swings. This then causes the cocaine user to take more of the drug to overcome these withdrawal symptoms; this is called reinforcement and can lead to addiction.

Additionally, when someone uses cocaine regularly, they will build a tolerance to the effects of the drug, and will then need more of it to get the desired high. When someone takes higher doses of the drug, they increase their risk for dependence.

factors that can influence risk for cocaine addiction

  • Age at first use
  • Method of ingestion
  • The amount taken each use
  • Genetics
  • Use of multiple drugs
  • Mental health history

Short term effects of cocaine abuse

People can become both physically and psychologically addicted to cocaine. This means that they can experience mental and emotional withdrawal symptoms, but their body craves the drug to regulate withdrawal symptoms as well. Cocaine use has both immediate and long-term effects on your body. The effects of cocaine abuse can be both physical and psychological.

  • Nausea
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Tremors and muscle twitches
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Paranoia

Long term effects of cocaine abuse

The longer someone uses cocaine, the more damage they will do to their body. Long term cocaine use is especially harmful to your cardiovascular system. Heart problems commonly caused by cocaine use include heart attack and inflammation of the heart muscle. Regularly snorting cocaine also affects your sinuses and nasal cavity. This can result in nosebleeds, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell.

  • Blood clots
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Brain shrinking
  • Tremors
  • Muscle weakness
  • Mood disorders
  • Memory loss
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Restlessness
  • Auditory hallucinations

Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal

When a person is dependent on cocaine, they will experience withdrawal from it if they stop taking it. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed thinking
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Increased craving for cocaine
  • Suicidal thoughts/actions
  • Chills, tremors, muscle aches

Symptoms of cocaine overdose

Cocaine use can result in overdose when a person takes enough for it to reach toxic levels in their system. Symptoms of cocaine overdose include:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Rise in body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Tremors
  • Panicked feelings
  • Anxiety
  • Delirium
  • Paranoia

Treatment for cocaine addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to cocaine, there is always hope and help available. Recovery from cocaine addiction is possible with the right treatment.

The first step of cocaine addiction treatment is usually detoxification, or ridding the body of the drug. Detoxification should be overseen by a medical professional in an inpatient or outpatient facility. This is the first step of recovery which lasts about a week, and then should be followed by a longer-term treatment plan. There are a few different options for cocaine addiction treatment with varying degrees of intensiveness, including:


– Inpatient (residential) treatment – a setting in which patients live on-site with 24/7 staff.
– Partial hospitalization – an option that is still intensive while giving patients more independence than inpatient treatment.
– Outpatient program – a type of treatment where patients attend appointments during the day and go home at night.
– Sober housing – a sober living environment for individuals who have already completed an inpatient or outpatient program.

There are currently no FDA approved drugs for the treatment of cocaine addiction, and therefore the main methods of cocaine addiction treatment are behavioral therapies.

There are a few different types of behavioral therapies that have been proven effective for
treating cocaine addiction, including:

– Contingency management – also called motivational incentives, this type of therapy rewards individuals for abstaining from drug use.
– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – this treatment method is effective at preventing relapse by helping patients identify the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs, and how to avoid these situations and obstacles.
– Motivational interviewing – a technique focused on helping the patient create goals and strengthening their commitment to them.
– Community-based recovery groups – the support of peers in a group therapy setting can help individuals recovering from addiction maintain their sobriety.