Cocaine has seen a resurgence in the United States in recent years. This is due in large to coca cultivation rising 18%just between the years 2015 and 2016 alone. In Columbia, the government has tried to eradicate the farming of coca; however, because so many of the country’s citizens rely on this income, the government created a program to help these families change the crops they farm rather than just to eradicate them.
While farmers switched from growing coca and went into farming items like bananas and coffee, others found out that the government was paying these people to stop growing coca, resulting in more growth of coca. This way, the farmers could be paid by the government as well to stop.
Following these issues, the Columbian government estimated there are around 465,000+ acres of coca crop, which is the highest seen in decades. This increase is so high that the U.S. government sees it as a threat to the progress made in the fight against cocaine use and disbursement in the United States. Cocaine is the second to opioids in overdose-related deaths and takes a serious toll on the American population’s health. There are no remedies to help fight addiction to cocaine like there are for opioids, making it an even bigger issue.
Cocaine is highly addictive and leads to a high overuse rate as well as severe psychological dependencies to the drug. Those in the age group of 18-25 have a higher rate of cocaine use, with 1.4% of young adults reporting that they have used cocaine within the past month.
This is a concern not only for the U.S. Government but also for employers since this age group represents such a large portion of the workforce. According to Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index, positive drug tests for cocaine use have increased for the fourth year in a row in the U.S. workforce. Cocaine positive drug tests increased to 12% in 2016 reaching a seven-year high. The national dialogue focuses on marijuana and opiate usage issues; however, cocaine is continuing to be troublesome for the U.S. workforce.