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Crack Facts

What is cocaine? | What is crack? | How is cocaine used? | How is crack used?
How many people use crack?
| How does cocaine work? | What are the effects of cocaine?
STDS and crack
| History of crack | How dangerous is it to take crack or cocaine?
Definitions of addiction
| Crack addiction and the illegal market | Maintaining the habit
Drug, set and setting |

How many people use crack?

Many Americans who pay close attention to the media believe crack use has substantially diminished since the heyday of its use.  Actually, crack use is the same in 2004 as it was in the late 1980s.

Approximate Number of Recent (within the past 30 days) Crack Users by Year
2004
467,0001
2003
604,0002
2002
567,0003
2001
406,0004
2000
265,0005
1999
418,0006
1998
437,0007
1997
604,0008
1996
668,0009
1995
400,00010
1994
520,00011
1993
417,00012
1992
314,00013
1991
479,00014
1990
494,00015
1988
484,00016

(Office of Applied Studies: National Household Survey on Drug Abuse - http://oas.samhsa.gov/p0000016.htm)


In 2004, almost 470,000 Americans are regular users.  Yet crack use has always been a very small fraction of America’s drug use.

From the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2004:

  • In 2004, 19.1 million (7.9%) of Americans aged 12 and over had used some form of illegal drug in the previous 30 days
  • Of these, 2 million (0.8% of recent users) had used cocaine in the last 30 days
  • Of the cocaine users, 467,000 (0.2% of recent users) had used crack in the last 30 days

Compare this to alcohol and tobacco:

  • In 2004, more than 120 million (50.3%) of Americans aged 12 and over had drank alcohol in the previous 30 days.
  • 70.3 million (29.2%) had used tobacco in the previous 30 days.

"Regular" crack users (i.e. users who have used crack in the last 30 days) represent only 0.2 percent of the total population, yet the use of crack is consistently called an ‘epidemic’ or a ‘scourge’.   Of the 7.9 percent of Americans currently using illegal drugs, 76.4 percent of them have used marijuana in the past 30 days, compared to 2.4 percent using crack.  In fact, the use of all other illicit drugs apart from heroin showed a higher rate of use than crack.

White Americans had the highest use of crack, accounting for 60 percent of all people who have used crack in the past month and 66 percent of all people who have ever used crack. Black or African Americans have the second highest use of crack, representing 30 percent of all people who have used crack in the past month. Almost 70 percent of all crack users are male.

(Find the full survey at http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda.htm)

 

 


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Tel: 301-589-6020
Fax: 301-589-5056
8730 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3649
Eric E. Sterling, J.D., President, CJPF
2006

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