What is the prevalence of cocaine toxicity in the US?

Updated: Dec 31, 2020
  • Author: Lynn Barkley Burnett, MD, EdD, JD; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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The 2019 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2018, an estimated 5,529,000 persons aged 12 years and older (2.0% of the population) reported cocaine use in the past year, including 757,000 persons (0.3% cent of the population) who used crack cocaine.  In 2018, an estimated 977,000 (0.4%) persons aged 12 years and older reported a substance use disorder in the past year involving cocaine. [1]

The Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System reported 1264 single exposures to cocaine in 2019. Major outcomes occurred in 167 cases and 11 deaths were reported. [19]

From the early 1970s until its discontinuation in 2011, the Drug Abuse Awareness Network (DAWN), a national survey of approximately 600 hospital EDs, reported the number of episodes of patients seeking treatment related to their use of an illegal drug or their nonmedical use of a legal drug. According to DAWN, in 2011, cocaine accounted for 505,224 (40.3%) of the approximately 1,252,500 ED visits that involved illicit drugs. The rate of involvement was higher for cocaine, at 162 ED visits per 100,000 population, than for any other illicit drug. [20]

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