Cocaine Use is No Stranger to Canada

cocaine useCocaine use and abuse is a prevalent phenomenon all over the world and the “home and native land” of the maple leaf is certainly no exception.

In Canada alone it is estimated that a high percentage of crack users are aged 15 years and older, which means that a significant segment of school-age kids are trying drugs. The drug has the tendency to become a central part of a teenager’s life, replacing the healthier, more important things and pushing the user towards a more ingrained addiction. Not a strong case for national pride.

Cocaine Use and Crime

In Canada, crack cocaine use has been established for decades and is blamed as a driving force behind many of the country’s crimes, such as stolen property and even murder. It is also attributed to the loss of huge sums in health care and diminished productivity in work environments. More than half of the offenders in federal correctional facilities in Canada reported using cocaine at least once during the six-month period prior to their arrest and incarceration.

Addiction is a dominant factor behind the majority of street crimes and even those committed in homes. An addicted person uses up their money and every resource in an attempt to get the drug that drives their addiction, and a serious harmful and destructive cycle is repeated. In other words, the addicted user’s primary goal and driving force becomes how to get more cocaine.

Calgary has been called “coke city,” and police statistics show that over 80% of the crimes committed there can be connected to the use of crack cocaine. Edmonton and Vancouver, in reasonably close proximity to Calgary, are also home to large numbers of drug pushers and addicts.

O Canada… the Battle against Cocaine Use

cocaine useCocaine is governed in Canada by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Unlawful possession is subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both (summary offence), for a first offence. Stiffer penalties result from repeat offences or the possession of larger amounts, and conviction for trafficking can bring life imprisonment.

Headway continues to be made in terms of education, treatment and prevention of cocaine use in Canada, but new users continue to emerge. The number of people who remain addicted to the drug, however, is falling off at a slow but stable rate. This is a promising sign and hopefully Canada can keep this rate going in a downward direction.

Without question, cocaine is one of the most addictive illegal drugs available today. Those who become involved with it at a relatively young age are likely to find it difficult to stop the cycle, heading down a destructive path that may last for years. If they even survive. No matter where in the world it occurs, crack and cocaine use is an extremely serious issue, one that causes the deaths of thousands of individuals annually and ruins the lives of many more.


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