The crisis lines operated by Oregon Partnership are seeing an emerging trend of increased cocaine use in the state. OP is receiving more than a hundred calls a month from those seeking help with cocaine addiction or knowing family members or friends who have a cocaine problem.
According to OP, a large number of callers are younger and were not subjected to the public attention that cocaine received in the 1980s and 90s. They also may have missed all the messages about the dangers of the drug.
While theories abound why we’re seeing an uptick in cocaine, it’s obvious that other drugs – such as meth – have been getting more media attention. When that happens, other illegal drugs that aren’t getting as much notoriety, see an upsurge by younger users.
Oregon State Police made a major cocaine bust last week, which demonstrated all too well that there is a major market of the drug here on the West Coast. This, despite the fact that the street price is still high.
Message to parents: Talk to your kids about how cocaine can cause series health problems, that it’s highly addictive and that there’s a reason why it’s illegal. In drug prevention, parents have the most influence on kids behavior.