Crack was first introduced in the 1970s. Its use peaked in the 1980s, but it certainly hasn’t disappeared from the black market since then. It was created as a cheaper alternative to cocaine. Drug dealers specifically targeted inner city and minority users.
However use is no longer limited to those areas or demographics.
According to the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (CJPF), “55% of past-month crack users are white.”
And the National Drug Intelligence Center reports, “an estimated 6,222,000 U.S. residents aged 12 and older used crack at least once in their lifetime.” A lot of people have used crack, and a lot of those people do not fit the stereotypes about who uses or why. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you aren’t alone if you struggle with crack, cocaine, or other addictions.
Who Uses Crack Cocaine
Crack was once seen as an inner city, urban and minority problem. However the tables are swiftly turning. CJPF explains: “Young white people are nine times more likely to try crack cocaine than young black people.” Although the majority of crack users are white, and this majority is growing, a greater percentage of black people use the drug.
“Black Americans, who make up 12.2% of the population,” CJPF continues, “account for 37% of crack users, meaning that they are 3.5 times more likely than whites to be regular crack users.” So while more white people use crack, and more white people are starting to use crack, crack use can seem like a problem for persons of color or minorities.
Crack and other drug trafficking is also often seen as the result of outside influences or international drug powers, however the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) explains that this assumption is wrong as well. Over 97% of crack cocaine traffickers are United States citizens.3 Crack cocaine is a local problem. It’s an issue every community should pay attention to, be sympathetic towards, and do something about.
This is because no matter how misinformed, stigmas and stereotypes related to crack use have led to unfair, racist and classist laws in terms of punishment for crack use, possession and dealing. And this had led to statistics regarding crack, crime and punishment.
Although more white people use crack, the USSC explains that when it comes to crack cocaine offenses, “Most of the offenders were Black (83.0%) followed by Hispanic (10.0%), White (5.8%), and Other Races (1.2%).”
Unfair laws can make it difficult for anyone to speak up about crack addiction. They may fear criminal punishment or immediate assumptions about who they are. However addiction is not an identity. Crack is a problem for every demographic. It is a problem here in the United States, and it’s a growing problem among teens and young adults. And it’s a problem that can be addressed and treated.
Who Can Get Crack Addiction Treatment?
No matter who you are, where you come from or where you are in addiction or recovery, you can get the help you need. Addiction treatment is a gift, not a punishment. It’s the opportunity to make the most of your life. Statistics don’t have to define you.
Reach out to Talbott Campus to learn more about recovery today at 678-251-3189.
1 “Who Uses Crack Cocaine, and Why?” Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. Accessed 4 Jul. 2018.
2 “Crack Cocaine Fast Facts.” National Drug Intelligence Center. 2003.
3 “Quick Facts: Crack Cocaine Trafficking Offenses.” United States Sentencing Commission. 2013.