Cocaine Statistics and Facts

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Cocaine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant drug that can quickly lead to significant consequences. The addictive nature of cocaine can lead to physical and psychological dependency, overdose, and a host of other life-threatening health problems that can come on suddenly or develop over time. Regardless of the risks involved in cocaine use, many struggle with this dangerous stimulant drug every day due to its addictive qualities. When you or a loved one are ready to overcome cocaine and move towards a life of recovery, Guardian Recovery is available to help.

Recovering from  cocaine use can be one of the most difficult paths a person can start out on. It is, however, one of the most important. By stepping forward, in the face of addiction, and reclaiming your life, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to begin living up to your potential once again. We at Guardian Recovery provide effective and highly individualized treatment services that help those who want to help themselves through compassionate care and knowledge. For more information, contact us today.

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What Is Cocaine?

An incredibly strong stimulant, cocaine is made from coca plant leaves. Ground into a powder, it is normally snorted (ingested nasally) although it can be smoked or injected. For those who first try it, cocaine immediately grips the reward center of the brain, increasing the production of dopamine. This pleasure chemical rewards the person for their cocaine usage and makes them continue with a potentially fatal addiction.

The amount of time that cocaine can stay in a person’s system varies on how much was used and the method of ingestion. Cocaine remains present in the blood for up to 48 hours after the last use, and it remains in the hair for up to 90 days.

National Statistics on Cocaine Use

In 2019, The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that cocaine was most frequently taken by young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years of age, with around 1.6 million people reporting their first-time use in the past year. In that same survey, approximately 5.5 million people over the age of 12 in the United States said they had used cocaine within the past year of the survey.

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Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Becoming physically dependent on cocaine can result in a host of changed behaviors and health issues. These issues are a warning that help should be sought out. These can include:

  • Anger.
  • Insomnia.
  • Confusion, loss of memory.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Chills.
  • Involuntary spasms and ticks.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Seizures.
  • Labored breathing.
  • Chest pain.

Health Effects of Cocaine Use

The ways in which cocaine can affect someone can be swift and powerful. That’s the case for the host of health risks that may spring up. As a stimulant, cocaine puts the body to work in ways it isn’t equipped for. The results can be:

  • Cardiovascular Issues —  Heart attacks, palpitations, abnormal heart rhythm, stroke.
  • Neurological Problems — Seizures, headaches, mental impairment, brain damage.
  • Respiratory complications – breathing impairment, lung damage.
  • Mental issues – depression, paranoia, anxiety, insomnia, aggression.

How Is a Cocaine Overdose Treated?

Unlike heroin and other drugs, there are no medications to take at the time of a cocaine overdose to reverse the overdose itself. Instead, the physical symptoms of the overdose will be treated on an individual basis.. This is how many first responders and health professionals handle  potentially dangerous outcomes. While cocaine can trigger seizures and heart attacks, it’s the seizures and heart attacks that need to be treated as they are life-threatening symptoms.

What Are Cocaine Treatments?

Cocaine treatment can encompass many things for an individual looking to find recovery. Depending on your personalized plan, there are several possibilities that can often help.

  • Behavioral Therapy — This varied approach can have many possibilities in and of itself. One is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which helps people identify the paths that brought them to addiction. Another, called Contingency management (CM), rewards people for reaching goals in their journey.
  • Support groups – Many options exist for those looking to seek out support with others. Groups like Cocaine Anonymous give those embarking on a new path the chance to have emphatic support along the way.
  • Inpatient and outpatient programs – whether you’re ready to move in and receive around-the-clock care or live at home and attend the sessions during the day, rehabilitation is designed with the person’s personal comfort and chances for success in mind.

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If you or someone you love has been struggling with a cocaine use disorder of any severity, there is help available, and recovery is possible.. Guardian Recovery can help you walk that path and light the way. We are dedicated to walking you through every step of the process from start to finish. Your personal plan begins with a brief pre-assessment to determine which level of clinical care is right for you. From there, Guardian offers a no obligation health insurance benefit check to determine whether our services are partially or fully covered. After that, it’s the path to a new day. Embrace the best version of you. We can help you. Contact us today to begin.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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