"Deaths involving cocaine and psychostimulants have increased in the United States in recent years; among 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, nearly a third (23,139 [32.9%]) involved cocaine, psychostimulants, or both. From 2016 to 2017, death rates involving cocaine and psychostimulants each increased by approximately one third, and increases occurred across all demographic groups, Census regions, and in several states. In 2017, nearly three fourths of cocaine-involved and roughly one half of psychostimulant-involved overdose deaths, respectively, involved at least one opioid.
"Nationwide, 4.8% of students had used any form of cocaine (e.g., powder, crack,†† or freebase§§) one or more times during their life (Supplementary Table 114).
"In 2016, the estimate of about 1.9 million people aged 12 or older who were current users of cocaine (Figure 15) included about 432,000 current users of crack. The numbers correspond to about 0.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older who were current users of cocaine (Figure 22) and 0.2 percent who were current users of crack (Table A.7B in Appendix A). The 2016 estimate for current cocaine use was similar to the estimates in most years between 2007 and 2015, but it was lower than the estimates in 2002 to 2006.
"As in recent years, the second most commonly used drug in the last year among adults aged 16 to 59 was powder cocaine (2.3% in the 2016/17 survey, equating to around 760,000 people). Powder cocaine was also the second most commonly used drug among young adults aged 16 to 24 (4.8% or around 297,000 young adults) after cannabis. Both proportions remained similar to the previous year (2.2% of 16 to 59 year olds and 4.4% of 16 to 24 year olds in the 2015/16 survey). This trend is illustrated in Figure 1.3.
"The positivity rate in urine testing for cocaine increased for the fourth consecutive year in the general U.S. workforce and for the second consecutive year in the federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workforce. Cocaine positivity increased 12 percent in 2016, reaching a seven-year high of 0.28 percent, compared to 0.25 percent in 2015 in the general U.S. workforce, and seven percent among federally-mandated, safety-sensitive workers to 0.28 percent, compared to 0.26 percent in 2015."
Estimated Past Year Prevalence of Cocaine and Crack Use Among Young People in the US: "Past-year cocaine use in 2015 among 12th graders has been essentially the same across regions and varied between 1.8% and 2.3%, with the exception that the West stood out and climbed to 4.4% in 2015 (Figure 5-10b; also Tables 36-38 and Figure 81 in Occasional Paper 86). In past years regional variation in cocaine use was the largest observed for any of the drugs.
"Crack cocaine use spread rapidly from the early to mid-1980s. Still, among 12th graders, the use of crack remained relatively low during this period (3.9% annual prevalence in 1987). Clearly, crack had quickly attained a reputation as a dangerous drug, and by the time of our first measurement of perceived risk in 1987, it was seen as the most dangerous of all drugs. Annual prevalence dropped sharply in the next few years, reaching 1.5% by 1991, where it remained through 1993.
Chart Comparing Addictive Qualities of Popular Drugs