U.S. Government Announces Major Drop in Worldwide Cocaine Production

The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced there has been at 41 percent decrease in worldwide cocaine production since 2001, and a 10 percent drop from the previous year.

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found the number of Americans aged 12 or older who are current users of cocaine has dropped by 44 percent since 2006, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

“I’ve never seen such a rapid decline for such an addictive drug,” Peter Reuter, a public policy professor and drug economy expert at the University of Maryland in College Park, told the newspaper.

ONDCP says a U.S.-Columbian partnership has contributed to the drop in worldwide cocaine production. Interceptions by the Coast Guard and Defense Department along drug trafficking routes have also led to a decrease in the amount of cocaine entering the United States.

The government survey on cocaine use found in 2011, an estimated 1.4 million Americans used cocaine, down from 2.4 million in 2006.  The number of people who first tried cocaine in the previous year decreased from 1 million in 2002, to 670,000 in 2011. In addition, the number of people who abused or were dependent on cocaine dropped from 1.7 million in 2006, to 0.8 million in 2011.

The number of people who tested positive for cocaine in the workplace dropped 65 percent from 2006 to 2012, while there was a 44 percent decrease in cocaine-related overdose deaths from 2006 to 2010.

Some experts say the drop in cocaine use in the United States is largely due to rising prices and shifts in the global cocaine market, with a greater share of the drug going to Europe and other parts of the world.