Cocaine and Crack Abuse (cont.)

What Treatment Options Exist?

Behavioral interventions -- particularly, cognitive-behavioral therapy -- have been shown to be effective for decreasing cocaine use and preventing relapse. Treatment must be tailored to the individual patient's needs in order to optimize outcomes -- this often involves a combination of treatment, social supports, and other services.

Currently, there are no medications for treating cocaine addiction, so this remains one of NIDA's top research priorities. Researchers are looking for medications that help alleviate the severe craving experienced by people in treatment for cocaine addiction, as well as medications to counteract other triggers of relapse, such as stress. Several compounds are currently being investigated for their safety and efficacy, including a vaccine that would sequester cocaine in the bloodstream and prevent it from reaching the brain. Research so far suggests that addiction medications are most effective when used as a part of a comprehensive treatment program.

How Widespread is Cocaine Abuse?

Monitoring the Future Survey*

According to the 2007 Monitoring the Future survey -- a national survey of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders -- cocaine use among students did not increase significantly, though it remained at unacceptably high levels: 3.1 percent of 8th-graders, 5.3 percent of 10th-graders, and 7.8 percent of 12th-graders have tried cocaine; 0.9 percent of 8th-graders, 1.3 percent of 10th-graders, and 2.0 percent of 12th-graders were current (past-month) cocaine users.

Use of Cocaine in Any Form by Students 2007 Monitoring the Future Survey

  8th-Graders 10th-Graders 12th-Graders
Lifetime** 3.1% 5.3% 7.8%
Past Year 2.0 3.4 5.2
Past Month 0.9 1.3 2.0

Crack Cocaine Use by Students 2007 Monitoring the Future Survey

  8th-Graders 10th-Graders 12th-Graders
Lifetime** 2.1% 2.3% 3.2%
Past Year 1.3 1.3 1.9
Past Month 0.6 0.5 0.9

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)***

According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 35.3 million Americans aged 12 and older reported having used cocaine, and 8.5 million reported having used crack. An estimated 2.4 million Americans were current (past-month) users of cocaine; 702,000 were current users of crack. There were an estimated 977,000 new users of cocaine in 2006 -- most were 18 or older when they first used cocaine. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the past-year use rate was 6.9 percent, showing no significant difference from the previous year.

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