Crack Cocaine Addiction Statistics

Crack cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive substance which national surveys have found may be more addictive than standard cocaine use. Here is information on age groups and other demographics affected by crack use, as well as rates of crack cocaine overdose and addiction recovery.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Crack cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that is produced by mixing freebase cocaine with ammonia or baking soda and heating it until it boils, dries, and produces rocks.

However, this form of cocaine — which is already a Class II illicit drug — is more addictive due to its concentrated and superheated inhalant form.

Information collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that over 5.2 million people of all ages used crack cocaine in the year 2020 alone.

Fortunately, the overall rate of crack cocaine abuse in the United States is steadily decreasing, especially in children aged 12-17.

Who Uses Crack Cocaine?

People across the United States of all ages, genders, races, and economic demographics have used crack cocaine in the past year.

While the statistics are different for densely populated areas, such as inner cities and other low-income areas, national crack cocaine use rates topple 1.9% of the current population.

We began to see an increase in crack cocaine use from 2005 to 2016, with recent social and economic situations having contributed to this spike.

Statistics On Child Use Of Crack Cocaine

According to a Monitoring the Future study, the rates of cocaine drug addiction in minors and overall crack cocaine use have been declining in minors since 2005.

Among 8th grade children, rates of first-time crack cocaine use have declined from 1.4% to 0.2%, and from 1.7% to 0.5% in 10th graders.

Age demographics in the 12th-grade range have also seen a decline in crack cocaine use from 1.9% to 1.2%.

Statistics On Teen Use Of Crack

Crack cocaine drug abuse rates in teenagers and young adults, according to a 2014 to 2015 census study, did not show rates of decline.

Rather, they inflated from 4.51% to 4.98%, an inverted increase when compared to the declining rates of crack use in other age demographics.

Crack cocaine is a problem in high schools, too — about 4% of high school seniors have admitted to the use of cocaine at least once in their last time, beginning in grade school.

Adult Use Of Crack Cocaine

Adults constitute the largest demographic of crack cocaine drug use among United States citizens.

The rate of crack cocaine use in teenagers and children has declined, but the prevalence of adult cocaine use has not substantially decreased.

Instead, rates of crack cocaine use in adults — while comparing studies from 2016 and 2020 — have increased upwards of 3.1% in persons over 18 years of age.

Crack Cocaine Use By Gender

Measuring the use of crack cocaine by gender can be tricky.

While men have a higher chance of using illicit drugs, and at a younger age, women are more likely to become seriously addicted.

The rates of women over 12 who use crack cocaine are substantially higher than that of men of the same age, coming in at 11.6% versus 5.6%.

This is in contrast to the studies which show the higher overall illicit drug use rates of men, including powdered cocaine and higher rates of alcohol use, than that of women.

Crack Cocaine Use By Economic Status

Crack cocaine and other illicit drugs are more prevalent in highly populated inner-city areas due to the higher rates of crime, drug trafficking, and poorer living conditions.

For instance, being unemployed increases stress levels, and substance use studies from last year showed how people who were unemployed had a higher chance of using illicit drugs.

Crack cocaine is no different, and saw a small percentile uptick in the number of crack cocaine use due to lower median income ranges as decided fiscally, not by race.

Crack Cocaine Crime-Related Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported a roughly one-percent increase in crack cocaine and other illicit drug-related crimes in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Additionally, surveys of federal prison confessions admitted to committing crimes to obtain funds to purchase crack cocaine. These were generally categorized as nonviolent.

Crack Cocaine-Related Rate Of Incarceration

A 2020 study by the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) reported that 90.9% of crack cocaine trafficking crimes were perpetrated by men.

Out of all trafficking offenders, 77.1% were reported as Black, with 15.9% as Hispanic and 6.3% were Caucasian.

Sentencing Disparities For Crack Cocaine

For many years, the justice system has administered harsher sentences for the possession of crack cocaine versus freebase cocaine hydrochloride.

While a person found with 5 grams of crack cocaine faced a 5-year minimum sentence, persons found with 500 grams of freebase cocaine could face the same sentence.

How Many People Die Or Get Severely Injured From Crack Cocaine Use?

Studies have found that a crack cocaine substance use disorder leads people to suffer fatal injury or death at the hands of accidents and violent interactions more so than overdose.

A New York City examination of crack-related deaths showed that less than 10% were caused by overdose, with homicide and HIV being the leading causes of death.

Addiction Recovery Rates For Crack Cocaine

Unfortunately, 24% of individuals relapse to crack cocaine use one year after treatment, with 18% of them returning to addiction treatment to prevent further relapse.

However, health information from studies completed since 1988 has shown that three in every four persons addicted to crack or other drugs fully recover within four years of initial treatment.

Treatment Programs For Crack Cocaine Addiction

There are many recovery programs available to treat crack cocaine addiction, including inpatient treatment, therapy, and more.

Treatment facilities provide some of the following recovery services:

  • outpatient programs
  • residential treatment
  • counseling
  • detox from cocaine, opioids, methamphetamines, and more
  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or a loved one are in search of substance abuse treatment, give our free helpline a call today to discuss enrollment at Bedrock Recovery Center.

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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