Some troubling new figures from the US Department of Health and Human Services show that, after a brief downturn, Cocaine addiction and trafficking is again on the rise in the drug-addled United States. The number of cocaine-related overdoses in 2015 reached its highest level in a decade and second-highest level since the beginning of the 21st Century. The number of Cocaine users has spiked 61% to nearly 1 million. A survey of 19-28 year olds found that the number of users has gone up from 3.9% in 2013 to nearly 6% today.
Cocaine is exclusively smuggled into the United States as the Coca plant is not cultivatable in northern climates. Much of it is processed here however; including derivatives like 'Crack'. The Coca leaf has some medicinal properties but can be highly addictive in concentrated forms. It has an amphetamine-like effect; but being a natural herb, its effects are often physical as well as psychological. Overdoses typically induce heart attacks or apoplexy and long-term use can result in damage to the central nervous system. Cocaine is especially dangerous when combined with other narcotics or alcohol and even, occasionally, with caffeine or tobacco.
According to the survey, the addiction/usage rates are worst in (no surprise here) the Leftist-dominated Pacific Coast and the New England states; with Oregon leading the pack on one coast and New Hampshire on the other. Also equally unsurprising, 9 of the 10 least-addicted are Red States. The New England area seems especially hard-hit, with every state in the region scoring in the top ten, with neighboring New York at #11.
The Government speculates that the demand for Cocaine has risen because during the last three years, political actions in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia---the main sources of the drug have slowed production---which has increased again to earlier levels. It maybe so; but the drug problem in the US is not a supply-side issue. During the time when Cocaine imports were down, the demand for other narcotics increased. America's drug problem is, and always has been, from the demand-side.
The United States has the highest per capita rate of drug addiction---including 'legal' dope pushed by Big Pharma in the world and no one else is even close. There has to be some intrinsic cultural problem that is causing this level of abuse. Things have reached a level where there are actually marijuana drive-thrus starting up.
To combat the problem is not an easy one, because narcotic abuse on a wide scale is symptomatic of a society that has lost faith. We're not talking about religious faith exclusively, though that is often a part of it. It's symptomatic of culture that has lost faith in itself---of a people mired in hopelessness about the future. This is why we noted earlier that the problem tends to manifest itself in predominantly Liberal social milieus. Liberalism is a philosophy that breeds despair and robs of the individual of power. It also tends to be atheistic, and robs people of the hope in God that we see often holding together even very impoverished cultures.
The problem has also been exacerbated by the fact that, until the Trump Administration, the authorities have tended to deny its seriousness. Yes, we've had 'drug wars' under Bushes and Clintons---but those focused on street drugs while turning Big Pharma into a drug cartel in its own right. Obama's policy was one more or less of complete denial. Trump has at least acknowledged the problem---how he will deal with it remains to be seen.
What there really needs to be is more focus on intervention, treatment, and education. Most importantly, there needs to be a social atmosphere that brings hope and faith again to the future. Whether or not the American people have this kind of strength of character left or not, also remains to be seen.