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Cocaine and crack cocaine

cannabis leaf

Cocaine is a stimulant drug extracted from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca Lam (coca leaves). This shrub is typical in the Andean region of South America, where it is widely cultivated. It is the only known natural source of cocaine. Coca leaves have been used as a stimulant by some indigenous people of South America since historical times. Developments lead to its use in treatment for a wide range of illnesses in the mid 19th Century, but purified cocaine has been misused as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant since the early years of the 20th century.

Cocaine is the hydrochloride salt produced from the leaves of the coca plant. Powder cocaine is typically snorted (insufflated) and less frequently injected. Crack is the smokable form of cocaine and is manufactured from cocaine hydrochloride. It is known for its immediate effects and association with problematic patterns of drug use.

On this page you can find links to data, scientific publications and resources available from the EMCDDA on the topic of cocaine and crack cocaine.

 

Key publications — cocaine and crack cocaine-related resources

Cocaine: A European Union perspective in the global context

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(Joint Publication, 2010) This recent EMCDDA and Europol joint publication contains information on cultivation and production of the drug, its entry routes into Europe, trafficking within Europe and highlights European initiatives for dealing with the problem. Go to publication  »

Cocaine and crack drug profile

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(Online publication, updated yearly) The cocaine and crack drug profile provides an objective and scientifically sound description of cocaine and crack and is available online in German, English and French. The profile provides an overview of information about cocaine and crack including the chemistry, pharmacology, synthesis, physical form, and mode of use, as well as a bibliography and suggestions for further reading. Go to profile  »

Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe

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(Annual report 2010) The report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe presents the EMCDDA's yearly overview of the drug phenomenon. Each year an overview of the situation with respect to cocaine and crack cocaine is presented. Issues covered specific to cocaine include supply and availability, prevalence and patterns of use, and treatment, as well as other topics of interest. Go to publication  »

Cocaine and crack cocaine: a growing public health issue

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(Selected issues, 2007) The potential for cocaine use to have a major impact on public health is examined and special attention is given to the health consequences of cocaine use. Also examined are the challenges to providing effective treatment for cocaine and crack cocaine dependence. Go to publication  »

Monitoring the supply of cocaine to Europe

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(Technical datasheets, 2008) Growing cocaine use in several EU countries, and increased seizures of cocaine on air, sea and land routes, have become subjects of increasing concern to policymakers. This datasheet provides a short review of key issues relating to how cocaine is manufactured in Latin America and transported to European consumers via the Atlantic, Caribbean and west Africa. It also looks at the destabilising effect of the cocaine trade on producer and transshipment countries. Go to publication  »

Cocaine use in Europe: implications for service delivery

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(Drugs in focus, 2007) Cocaine use presents new challenges for Europe’s drug treatment services. Although services can leverage experiences gained in responding to other types of drug problems, the pharmacology of cocaine, the social diversity of users and the concurrent use of other psychoactive substances complicate the development and targeting of responses. And unlike treatment for opioid users, there are no proven effective substitution or pharmacological treatment options currently available for cocaine users. Go to publication  »

Prevalence and patterns of use

Prevalence and patterns of use — most recent synthesis

Each year, the cocaine and crack cocaine chapter of the EMCDDA's Annual report (see 'Highlights' above) provides a synthesis of the most recent available data on the prevalence and patterns of cocaine and crack cocaine use among the general populations, youth and school populations. Go to cocaine and crack cocaine prevalence and patterns of use »

Statistics on the prevalence of cocaine and crack cocaine among the general population

The 'general population surveys' data set in the Statistical bulletin provides the most recent available data on the prevalence of drug use, including cocaine and crack cocaine in the general population by age group (15–64, 15–34, 15–24) including lifetime experience, recent use, current use and frequency of use. Go to general population surveys data »

Statistics on prevalence of cocaine and crack cocaine use among the youth and schools populations

The 'youth and schools' populations data set in the Statistical bulletin provides the most recent available data on the prevalence of drug use, including cocaine. Go to youth and schools populations data »

Treatment demand for cocaine use

Statistics on treatment demand

The 'treatment demand indicator' data set in the Statistical bulletin provides the most recent available data on treatment demand, including treatment demand for cocaine use (primary drug) Go to the treatment demand indicator data »

Treatment of cocaine use: best practice and provision

Best practice for the treatment of cocaine and crack cocaine users

Despite several trials for cocaine users, no pharmacologically assisted treatment currently exists. However, psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive and/or behavioural interventions, have shown encouraging effects. Go to treatment options for cocaine users in the Best practice portal »

Treatment provision — synthesis of the data

An overview of treatment provision in Europe with some cocaine and crack cocaine-specific information can be found in the following resources:

Treatment of problem cocaine users: A review of the literature

A summary of a variety of topics related to cocaine treatment for problem cocaine users is available for consultation. 

Download the full publication, including an updated version by following the link. Treatment of problem cocaine users literature review »

Cocaine use in Europe: implications for service delivery

(Drugs in focus, 2007) See 'Highlights' above. This paper addresses a number of important issues for the delivery of services for cocaine users. How can the different groups of users be reached and helped? What type of treatment should be made available for dependent cocaine users? Are new specialised services needed, or should existing ones be adapted? Download the full publication »

Examples of cocaine and crack cocaine treatment programmes in Europe

The Exchange on Drug Demand Reduction Action (EDDRA) provides details on a wide range of treatment and prevention interventions across Europe (as well as harm reduction and interventions in the criminal justice system), including some which specifically target cocaine and derivatives. Access EDDRA »

Health consequences of cocaine and crack cocaine use

Problems related to cocaine and crack cocaine use

'Cocaine and crack cocaine: a growing public health issue' (see 'Highlights' above) devotes a chapter to health consequences of cocaine use. For more information, see Cocaine and crack cocaine: a growing public health issue »

Health consequences of cocaine use

The 2010 EMCDDA Annual report (see 'Highlights' above) presents a brief overview of the adverse health effects of cocaine and crack cocaine use. For more information, see the chapter 'Health consequences of cocaine use' »

Harm reduction for cocaine users

The fast and the furious — cocaine, amphetamines and harm reduction

Chapter 7 of the Harm reduction monograph (2010) specifically looks at interventions aimed at reducing adverse (health) consequences associated with stimulant use.  Access 'The fast and the furious — cocaine, amphetamines and harm reduction' »

Cocaine and crack cocaine: a growing public health issue

A section of 'Cocaine and crack cocaine: a growing public health issue' (see 'Highlights' above) explores harm reduction and cocaine use in the context of responses to and interventions in cocaine and crack cocaine use. Access 'Cocaine and crack cocaine: a growing public health issue' »

Supply, production, markets, seizures and purity

Cocaine: A European Union perspective in the global context

(Joint publications, 2010) This EMCDDA and Europol joint publication provides an overview of what is known about how cocaine is produced and trafficked into the European Union. It aims to provide a better understanding of the actors involved, the routes taken, and the scale of the problem in Europe. The full text is available for download in English and Spanish through the following link. Access 'Cocaine: A European Union perspective in the global context' »

Price, purity and seizures data

The Statistical bulletin is published yearly by the EMCDDA and provides access to the most recent statistical data relating to the drugs situation in Europe. The most recent statistical data on price, purity and seizures data for cocaine and crack can be found in the following data sets:

Monitoring the supply of cocaine to Europe

(Technical data sheets, 2008). This datasheet provides a short review of key issues relating to how cocaine is manufactured in Latin America and transported to European consumers via the Atlantic, Caribbean and west Africa. It also looks at the destabilising effect of the cocaine trade on producer and transshipment countries. Access 'Monitoring the supply of cocaine to Europe' »

Law offences for cocaine

Drug offences: sentencing and other outcomes

(Selected issues, 2009) The sentences that offenders receive for drug law violations (including cocaine-related) across the European Union are examined for the first time in this ‘Selected issue’. By analysing the most recent year’s statistics, the report attempts to answer the question: What is the most likely outcome for an offender after being stopped by police for a drug law offence of use or personal possession, or supply or trafficking? Access 'Drug offences: sentencing and other outcomes' »

Statistics on drug law offences

The Statistical bulletin is published yearly by the EMCDDA and provides access to the most recent statistical data relating to the drugs situation in Europe. Information on drug law offences for cocaine can be found in the following data set:

Country data

Statistical bulletin

The Statistical bulletin provides detailed country-specific prevalence and patterns of use data. The links below provide quick access to data and information at a country level (including cocaine and crack cocaine prevalence data). Access the Statistical bulletin »

Data and country data

Country overviews provide structured synopsis of the trends and characteristics of national drug problems. They consist of a summary of the national drug situation, key statistics at a glance and a barometer showing the drug use prevalence position of each country. They are updated annually. Access Country overviews »

National reports

Commissioned each year by the EMCCDA and produced by the national focal points of the Reitox network, the National reports draw an overall picture of the drug phenomenon at national level in each EU Member state. These data are key information to the EMCCDA and are an important resource, among others, for the compilation of its 'Annual report'. See all National reports »

 
 

Page last updated: Monday, 01 August 2011