May 14, 2010, Newsletter Issue #255: Use Patterns of Cocaine

Tip of the Week

Cocaine use patterns have been documented by the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. According to a 2005 report, approximately 33.7 million Americans (aged 12 and beyond) had tried cocaine in their lifetime. More stark are the figures relative to tendency towards state or federal incarceration and tendency towards use over a lifetime. According to the same 2005 report, which surveyed former and current prisoners (incarcerated between 1997 and 2004) 46.8 % (state offenders) and 43.3% (federal offenders) of these criminals had reported some history of cocaine use.

It is important to remember that with the above (and any) statistics, data is limited by both individual willingness to report and research design. In an interview conducted with several social workers who counsel former convicts, it was found that of approximately 60-80 clients each, close to 95% of these clients had reported use of cocaine over their lifetime(s).

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