While the use of cocaine has stabilized since 1999 at significantly lower levels that at its peak in 1982 (when 10.4 million Americans, also 5.6 percent of the population, reportedly used cocaine), statistics indicate that cocaine is still widely present in the United States.
During 2000, there were an estimated 2,707,000 chronic cocaine users and 3,035,000 occasional cocaine users in the United States. According to What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, users spent $35.3 billion on cocaine in 2000, a decrease from the $69.9 billion spent in 1990. Americans consumed 259 metric tons of cocaine in 2000, a decrease from the 447 metric tons consumed in 1990.
Table 2. Percentage of Americans reporting lifetime use of crack, by age group, 2002
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Results From the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings found that more than 33 million people age 12 and older (14.4%) in 2002 reported that they had used cocaine at least once in their lifetime (see table 1). More than 8 million Americans (3.6%) age 12 and older had used crack cocaine at least once in their lifetime (see table 2).
According to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Study, in 2002, 3.6% of 8th graders, 6.1% of 10th graders, and 7.8% of 12th graders surveyed reported using cocaine at least once during their lifetime (see table 3 on next page). Of the students surveyed, 2.5% of 8th graders, 3.6% of 10th graders, and 3.8% of 12th graders reported using crack within their lifetime (see table 4 on next page). The study also showed that, in 2002, 8.2% of college students and 13.5% of young adults (ages 19 to 28) reported using cocaine during their lifetime. Almost 2% of college students and 4.3% of young adults reported using crack cocaine during their lifetime.22