1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
Public concern about cocaine continues as its use among members of the U.S. population remains a public health problem. As in previous years of the NHSDA, cocaine was one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the United States during 1997. After marijuana (see Chapter 3), more people reported having used cocaine during some time in their lifetime than any other illicit drug. In 1997, NHSDA data show that approximately 23 million (or 11%) of individuals aged 12 or older in the United States reported cocaine use in their lifetime (see Table 2.1), approximately 4 million (or 2%) reported use in the past year, and 1.5 million (or 1%) reported current use (i.e., past 30 day use). Additionally, some 4 million (or 2%) reported crack use8 in their lifetime, approximately 1 million (or 0.6%) reported past year crack use, and about 600,000 (or 0.3%) reported current crack use. As indicated in the Chapter 2 tables, the percentage of persons reporting cocaine use remained relatively stable in most age groups from the early 1990s to 1997. As with marijuana use, the only exception to this finding occurred among adolescents, among whom cocaine use appeared to be on an upward trend. Other studies of adolescents have found similar trends (Johnston et al., 1998a, 1998b; NCADI, 1998).
This chapter discusses the prevalence and correlates of cocaine use. The following sections provide a detailed description of the prevalence of cocaine use in demographic subgroups defined by age, gender, race/ethnicity, population density, region, adult education, and current employment status. This chapter also discusses the frequency of cocaine use, the relationships between use of cocaine and other drugs, and information regarding with whom respondents used cocaine and why they used cocaine.
8 Because crack (also called "rock" or "base") is a form of cocaine, respondents who reported using crack are included under the more general set of cocaine users.
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