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Cocaine Statistics | Cocaine Use Statistics By Age, Gender, & Ethnicity

Published on January 8, 2021
kilos of cocaine seized by U.S. customs cocaine statistics

Cocaine is an illicit drug made from the coca plant, which is native to South America. It can cause a surge of happiness and energy. 

Some people inject or snort cocaine in its powder form, while others smoke a solid form of cocaine called crack cocaine. Those using cocaine face serious health risks, including substance use disorder and drug overdose.

Rates of cocaine use differ depending on factors like age, gender, and ethnicity.

Cocaine Use Statistics

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists cocaine as the most commonly used addictive substance. Other examples include alcohol, marijuana, and opioids.

According to a 2019 national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 5.5 million Americans aged 12 or older reported using cocaine in the past year. Of those individuals, 671,000 began using the drug that year, and 1.0 million experienced cocaine addiction, which is also called cocaine use disorder

Cocaine Use By Age

The use of cocaine in 2019 varied among different age groups:

  • Ages 12 to 17: 97,000 people in this group used cocaine, with 59,000 being first-time users
  • Ages 18 to 25: 1.8 million people used cocaine, with 476,000 being first-time users
  • Ages 26 and older: 3.6 million people used cocaine, with 135,000 being first-time users

Age also plays a role in cocaine-related overdose death rates, as seen in a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 

  • Ages 15 to 19: 111 cocaine-related overdose deaths
  • Ages 20 to 24: 813
  • Ages 25 to 34: 3,463 
  • Ages 35 to 44: 3,282
  • Ages 45 to 54: 3,497 
  • Ages 55 to 64: 2,335
  • Ages 65 and older: 432

Cocaine Use By Gender

Generally, men are more likely than women to use cocaine and other illegal drugs. 

In the United States in 2017, 194,168 men and 107,033 women received treatment for cocaine addiction. 

In that same year, 10,021 men died of a cocaine-related overdose compared to 3,921 women.

Cocaine Use By Ethnicity 

A 2013 SAMHSA study found that substance abuse, including cocaine abuse, occurred in:

  • 14.9 percent of Native Americans and Alaska Natives
  • 11.3 percent of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
  • 10.9 percent of persons reporting two or more races
  • 8.6 percent of Hispanics
  • 8.4 percent of whites
  • 7.4 percent of blacks
  • 4.6 percent of Asians

In addition, according to a 2017 CDC report, different ethnic groups experience different rates of cocaine-related overdose deaths:

  • White, Non-Hispanic: 8,614 cocaine-related overdose deaths
  • Black, Non-Hispanic: 3,554
  • Hispanic: 1,438
  • Asian/Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic: 129
  • Native American/Alaska Native, Non-Hispanic: 65

If you or a loved one struggles with cocaine addiction or another form of drug use, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist to learn about our addiction treatment centers. 

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - ANNUAL SURVEILLANCE REPORT OF DRUG-RELATED RISKS AND OUTCOMES
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Commonly Used Drugs Charts
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - 2019 NSDUH Annual National Report: CBHSQ Data
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Treatment Episode Data Set Admissions (TEDS-A) 2017 Codebook

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