The 21st-century is beginning to be recognized as the “Decades of Drug Use,” as so much of the problems that we face and that we have faced since the turn of the century have seemed to revolve around drugs and alcohol. Needless to say, drug and alcohol misuse is now one of the top if not the top health concern in America today, and cocaine has played a part in that.
Cocaine first became really popular in the United States in the 1960s, and its popularity soared to its highest point ever in the 1970s. But following major law enforcement and legal crackdowns from the federal government and the Drug Enforcement Administration, interest in the drug began to recede, And when crack cocaine was first brought to the forefront in the early 1980s, powdered cocaine began to take a back seat. But now all of that is changing and powdered cocaine is beginning to make a comeback once again.
Cocaine is a drug substance originally derived from the coca plant from South America. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine is best defined as follows:
Clearly, cocaine is a dangerous and risky drug, especially nowadays, though that has not stopped tens of millions of Americans from having experimented with it at least once in the last several decades.
Ever wonder why people misuse drugs? For the most part, they are looking for an escape of some kind, a way out of the morass or the difficulties of day to day life, a way out of the troubles and pitfalls and difficulties that they face on a regular basis. Sometimes, people are just looking for an escape, a way to get away from the trials and tribulations of life. Sometimes, they are looking for a new experience, a way to just “get away from it all” for a few short minutes.
The 1990s saw some of the lowest rates of drug use across America yet. These were some good times, some happy moments where drug use was at considerably reduced rates of prevalence. But they were not meant to last.
When the early-2000s rolled around, drug use began to take off, and more people began to get addicted to drugs and alcohol than we had seen yet. It all began with opioid pharmaceutical drugs. The use of opioids for pain relief is what set off the 21st-century addiction epidemic, as millions of Americans became addicted to the very drugs they were given that were supposed to help them with their pain. Before long, other drugs began to make a comeback, like heroin, hallucinogenics, and of course, cocaine.
According to a research paper published by verywellmind.com:
According to researched facts compiled by the website, factretriever.com:
Clearly, there is a large degree of risk in the use and misuse of cocaine, especially today as it would seem that cocaine is sending Americans to the hospital at a rate far in excess of the 1970s cocaine-related hospital visits. Clearly, the drug is more prominent now that it has been in decades.
As we move forward into the following years, our focus has to be on helping those who are addicted to cocaine, and our focus also has to be on protecting others from becoming addicted to the drug. We can do the latter by exercising prevention techniques and educating the American people on the risks attendant with cocaine use. We can do the former by helping current cocaine addicts get into and through drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. With these approaches, we can reduce cocaine use.