Cocaine: Drug of the Eighties

August 27, 1982

Report Outline
Middle-Class Popularity
History of Cocaine Use
Hemisphere's Cocaine Traffic
Special Focus

Middle-Class Popularity

Myths and Realities of Cocaine Use

Put the following professional football players on a field, and you have the makings of an all-star team: running backs Chuck Muncie and Charles White, linebackers Thomas (Hollywood) Henderson and Craig Puki, defensive linemen Carl Eller and Don Reese and quarterback John Reaves. You also have a group of current and former players who have undergone treatment for cocaine addiction. The list of pro football players who have acknowledged using cocaine and the number admitted to drug rehabilitation clinics have grown widely this summer. This has come about in the wake of allegations by Reese that cocaine use is rampant in the National Football League.

These developments underscore the rapidly rising popularity of cocaine, not only in professional athletics, but throughout American society. They also point to the serious problems associated with this drug. “Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs around because it is one of the most—if not the most—reinforcing drugs,” said Dr. William Pollin, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “The drive to obtain cocaine is one of the strongest that any drug demonstrates.“

Despite the dangers of cocaine, there is a prevailing belief among the drug's users that it has no detrimental side effects, is not addictive, and is one of the most pleasurable drugs available. For these reasons cocaine has become the “drug of choice” for millions of Americans. They are primarily in the middle- to upper-income ranges because cocaine is also the most expensive illegal drug.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Oct. 07, 2016  Opioid Crisis
Jul. 19, 2016  Drug Abuse
May 02, 2014  Treating Addiction
Jun. 03, 2011  Teen Drug Use
Jun. 12, 2009  Legalizing Marijuana Updated
Dec. 12, 2008  Mexico's Drug War
Feb. 09, 2007  Combating Addiction
Jun. 02, 2006  War on Drugs
Jul. 15, 2005  Methamphetamine
Jul. 28, 2000  Drug-Policy Debate
Nov. 20, 1998  Drug Testing
Jan. 06, 1995  Treating Addiction
Mar. 19, 1993  War on Drugs
Feb. 23, 1990  Does the War on Drugs Need a New Strategy?
May 20, 1988  The Business of Illicit Drugs
Jan. 23, 1987  Experimental Drugs
Feb. 08, 1985  The Fight Against Drug Smuggling
Aug. 27, 1982  Cocaine: Drug of the Eighties
Jun. 11, 1982  Prescription-Drug Abuse
Jan. 23, 1976  Changing U.S. Drug Policy
Dec. 13, 1972  World Drug Traffic
May 27, 1970  Heroin Addiction
Jan. 27, 1965  Psychotoxic Drugs
Jul. 18, 1962  Narcotics Addiction: Punishment or Treatment
Sep. 05, 1956  Control of Drug Addiction
Mar. 28, 1951  Drug Addiction
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