California Cocaine Abuse Statistics, Rates, and Treatment

Cocaine is a stimulant drug harvested from the coca plant most often found in South America and particularly in Columbia. Most of the nation’s cocaine enters the country through the Southwest Border (SWB), which contains parts of California, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. In the 2014 fiscal year (FY), 4,443 pounds of the 4,554 pounds of cocaine seized were in the SWB sector, and 1,697 pounds were seized in San Diego alone, which was the highest amount of any American city.[1]

Cocaine is abused in powder or rock form called crack, and it may be snorted, smoked, injected, or ingested for a quick and powerful high. Cocaine raises heart rate, body temperature, respiration levels, and blood pressure while decreasing pain sensations and the need for sleep, and increasing energy and focus levels. It is considered a Schedule II drug in the United States, meaning that it may have a few rare medicinal uses but is largely considered an illegal drug with a high potential for abuse and dependency.[2]

Cocaine may be called many names on the street, such as:

  • Coke
  • Rock
  • Snow
  • Flake
  • Ice cube
  • Rock star
  • Dust
  • Toot
california and cocaine

In 2009-2010, just over 10 percent of Californians used illicit drugs in the month prior to the data being collected, which was higher than the national average.[3] Cocaine abuse may be measured by the amount of people treated in a public substance abuse program that report cocaine as their primary drug of abuse. In the five Bay Area counties, which include San Francisco, cocaine was the fourth ranked substance of abuse and reported as the primary drug of abuse in 14 percent of the treatment admissions for the first six months of 2013. In the San Diego area, cocaine abuse accounted for 4 percent of the total treatment admissions. In Los Angeles County, 6.8 percent of the substance abuse treatment admissions were for cocaine abuse or dependency.[4], [5],[6]

Cocaine abuse has been slowly declining across California in the past several years, although the drug still poses a threat to an individual’s personal physical and mental health. Cocaine use is also linked to increased crime rates and overall costs to society.[7]