In US Federal courts in 2007, 5,477 individuals were found guilty of crack cocaine-related crimes. More than 95% of these offenders had been involved in crack cocaine trafficking.
The situation is different in Europe. The European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction reports abuse of crack cocaine is commonly restricted to minority communities in large cities with high levels of unemployment and poor living conditions.
In 2006, 20 European countries reported that crack cocaine abusers represented only 2% of all drug users entering substance abuse treatment, and most of them were reported by the United Kingdom.
According to a 2007 survey in the UK, less than one percent of young people between 16 and 24 had used crack.
The 2006 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 8.6 million Americans aged 12 and older reported having used crack. Among those 18 to 25, 6.9% of those surveyed said they had used cocaine (including crack) within the last year. The 2007 US Government’s Monitoring the Future survey found that among high-school students, 3.2% of twelfth graders had used crack cocaine at some point in their lives.
In the United States, crack cocaine was the primary drug of abuse in 178,475 admissions to treatment in 2006. This represented 71% of all primary cocaine admissions to treatment that year.
“It’s a totally selfish drug, this crack. It takes over your life. Crack grabs ahold quickly. It doesn’t take long at all. The cravings it produces are massive. And you end up using it more frequently because the high is short-lasting.” —Peter