Cocaine has been flagged as an extremely dangerous narcotic for generations now. But according to new research, this stimulant may now be causing more havoc than ever. Per The National Center for Health Statistics, the number of drug overdoses involving coke nearly doubled over the past two years.
The exact figures are staggering. Per the Center’s report, there were 5,982 cocaine-related deaths in 2014 and a whopping 11,316 in 2016. In our opinion, that should certainly be raising alarms. This isn’t a gradual increase by any means, but rather a drastic trend that is claiming hundreds of lives each week.
The opioid crisis still accounts for the majority of America’s drug OD’s, but combined we’re talking about over 30,000 deaths a year. The report authors flagged that point, emphasizing that the country’s substance abuse problem should not be ignored.
“Throughout the study period, cocaine ranked second or third among the nation’s top 15 drugs,” the report claimed. “From 2014 through 2016, the number of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine nearly doubled, accounting for nearly 18 percent of all overdose deaths.”
One recent explanation for the spike has to do with deadly drug combinations (also influenced by the opioid epidemic). Police agencies have reported that fentanyl is now commonly being laced into batches of street cocaine. That drug, which has ties to opioids, is considered extremely dangerous and highly addictive.
There are also people that knowingly blend their drug stashes together. Those who abuse opioids may also incorporate cocaine into their binges, putting themselves at an even greater risk of OD’ing. The way this study was measured, anyone who overdoses and had at least some coke in their system qualified as a statistic.
Fentanyl alone was responsible for 18,335 OD’s in 2016, making it the number one deadliest drug on the Center’s list. They also issued a stern warning about meth, which ranked roughly fourth in their rankings. In the past year, over 6,700 overdoses were attributed to that particular substance.
Of course, our advice is to steer clear of all of these deadly drugs. But it is very important to get the word out about this increase in cocaine deaths. Many “casual users” are unaware of the stronger strains being sold on the streets. You may not even be a full-blown addict, but if you happen to get too strong of a batch; an overdose is entirely possible.
If you or anyone you are close is suffering from a cocaine problem, please make sure they’re educated and aware of the help that’s available to them.