The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4102.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 2

Abstract #55179

Patterns of cocaine consumption: A replication of Cohen & Sas' findings

David Duncan, DrPH1, Nivedita Seerpi, MPH2, Thomas Nicholson, PhD3, John B. White, PhD3, Lisa L. Lindley, DrPH4, and Patricia Minors, PhD3. (1) Brown University, 1347 Kentucky St. # 2, Bowling Green, KY 42101, 270-796-6713,, (2) Epidemiologist, Green River District Health Department, 1501 Breckenridge Street, Owensboro, KY 42303, (3) Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, One Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101-3576, (4) Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101

The myths and misconceptions that surround cocaine use lead to the over-estimation of the prevalence of cocaine addiction in society. Health education curricula and drug policy do not differentiate between cocaine use and abuse. This study describes the cocaine consumption patterns in a non-clinical, non-incarcerated sample of users. The resulting patterns are compared to those found by Cohen (1989) and Cohen and Sas (1993,1994, 1995). DRUGNET is an online survey of recreational drug use by non-deviant adults via the WWW. Self-selected subjects completed a survey over the Internet between February and October 1997 (N=701). This sample was predominately white (92%), male (85.3%), young (mean = 34.13 years, SD = 9.40, Range = 18 to 71), employed full-time (72.6%), and earned a median income of $50,000-69,999 (21.2%). The most prevalent pattern observed was a period of moderate consumption followed by declining use (52.7%). The second most common pattern observed was a period of increased consumption followed by a steady decline to a lower stable level (25.5%). The most prevalent pattern of consumption found in this study and those reported by Cohen and Sas is that the most prevalent patterns all showed an eventual decline in consumption over time. Further, DRUGNET respondents exhibited similar patterns of use to those described by Cohen and Sas. The study’s demonstration that cocaine use does not inevitably lead to increased use and probability of addiction raises serious questions about current policy and the content of most drug intervention models (i.e., DARE, court ordered treatment, etc.).

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Drug Use, Policy/Policy Development

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Emerging Patterns of Substance Use Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA