“I want people to pass cocaine. Everybody needs to do cocaine!” This was NBA player Nick “Swaggy P” Young’s response to TMZ when asked about Canada’s decision to legalize cannabis. Many believe that the 33-year-old Warriors player, still high on his NBA victory, has landed himself in a soup and is now more likely to undergo future drug tests before any game.
Known for his outlandish ways both on the court and off it, Young clarified through his Instagram account that he was joking – “I was just being funny…y’all know me…” But this time, he seems to have gone too far with his joke, especially at a time when the United States is reeling under the opioid epidemic, and the rate of overdose deaths involving cocaine jumping over the years.
Dynamics of cocaine
There have been disturbing reports that “mountains” of cocaine have been making their way across American borders. Unfortunately, past studies have revealed that whenever there has been a rise in the production levels of cocaine, there has been a proportional increase in the number of first time cocaine users in America and the number of overdose deaths. Leah-Perle Bloomenstein, an analyst with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), confirmed the same when she said, “Based on a strong historical correlation between past-year initiates and Colombian cocaine production, it’s expected that the number of past-year cocaine initiates will continue to rise through 2018.”
Statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) lend credibility to this notion. In 2007, about 900,000 Americans used cocaine for the first time, and with the increase in the manufacture of cocaine, the number of people trying cocaine for the first time also jumped to 970,000 in 2015. This figure increased to an estimated 1.1 million in 2016. The rate of overdose deaths too rose during this time – from 5,415 in 2014 to more than 10,000 in 2016.
Available as a fine white powder, cocaine is a stimulant and one of the most powerful addictive drugs. It is also one of the substances used by teens to look “cool, sexy and happening.” Past studies have shown that cocaine use during teens is more harmful than cocaine use during adulthood. According to a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, early cocaine users had problems in concentrating for a long period, working memory and declarative memory. Further, teen cocaine users had a 50 percent higher chance of being concurrent alcohol users and a 30 percent more chance of being cannabis users.
Seeking help for cocaine addiction
The human brain continues to grow during teen years and even well into the twenties. Drug and alcohol abuse during this phase changes the structure of the brain and the way it works – both in the short- and the long-term, leading to an impaired sense of judgment. People unwittingly get hooked on cocaine after consuming it just once or twice because of its highly addictive nature.
Realizing the gravity of cocaine addiction, teen icons like Young should be careful about what they speak in public even as a joke. Impressionable young minds are more vulnerable to addiction, specifically to a potent substance like cocaine. If your teen child is suffering from cocaine addiction, it’s time to get him/her medical support. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego specializes in treating substance use disorders (SUD) and providing addiction treatment for cocaine as well as mental disorders in teens aged 12-17 years. Call at our 24/7 helpline or chat online with a representative to know more about the best teen treatment for cocaine addiction.