Cocaine overdoses killed African-Americans at almost the same rates at which heroin and prescription opioids claimed non-Hispanic white American lives, according to a recent study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine in December 2017. While efforts are being undertaken to deal with the soaring rates of heroin and opioid overdoses among white Americans, there is also a critical need to address the growing numbers of African-Americans dying from cocaine overdoses, the study suggested.
The study by researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Cancer Institute suggested that from 2012 to 2015, the rates of deadly overdose involving cocaine among non-Hispanic African-American population were similar to that of opioid-related deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans. “We have shown that drug overdose deaths are a major public health problem among non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white persons and a rarer but increasing problem among Hispanic persons,” said the study team.
In order to substantiate their findings, the researchers examined the U.S. death certificate data from 2000 to 2015 from the National Center for Health Statistics. They considered factors like sex, race and ethnicity to arrive at the age-standardized, drug category-specific death rates as well as the age-specific and age-standardized overdose death rates. But, analyses pertaining to specific drugs were limited to individuals in the age group of 20 to 64 years.
According to study co-author Dave Thomas, though it was interesting to discover the difference in substance abuse rates by race, on the whole, such findings should reinforce one’s commitment to understand the underlying factors and make necessary efforts to reduce drug abuse in society regardless of people’s ethnicity, sex or age. The findings of the study have come at a time when the entire focus is on the ongoing opioid crisis in the country, which has compelled President Donald Trump to declare the epidemic a public health emergency.
Cocaine is making a comeback
Studies show that cocaine is the most favored drug for recreational purposes in the U.S. after alcohol and marijuana. In fact, significant seizures of cocaine consignments by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials at multiple ports of entry (POEs), dotting the international border with Mexico support the fact that the drug is indeed making a comeback into America. The CBP records show that in the fiscal year 2017 alone, authorities stationed at 328 ports of entry confiscated more than 121,100 pounds of cocaine, more than double the 58,300 pounds seized during fiscal year 2016.
Besides, mammoth quantities of South American cocaine enter U.S. territory from the Caribbean to the eastern coastline or via the Central American-Mexican corridor. Law enforcement officials attribute the high rates of cocaine supplies to the rampant demand for the white powder by American consumers.
Leading a drug-free life
Studies suggest cocaine highs are usually intense and short-lived. So individuals abusing cocaine are most likely to binge on the drug to experience a more powerful high. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016 alone, about 1.9 million people aged 12 or older were current users of cocaine. No wonder, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes cocaine as a Schedule II drug. This implies that cocaine is a dangerous, illicit substance with a high potential for abuse, leading to adverse physical and psychological outcomes.
If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from addiction to cocaine or any other drug, contact Sovereign Health of San Clemente that offers a variety of customized therapies for cocaine addiction treatment in California. Our licensed clinicians use several approaches to resolving underlying problems of each patient. Our treatments for cocaine addiction in California are tailored to individual needs in order to treat a patient holistically. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.