Did anyone know there was actually a period of time when the US was considered in the midst of a “crack (cocaine) epidemic?” Well, there was.
In the six years between 1984 and 1990, crack use was at its highest. During this time, increases in crime, homelessness, and other problems, along with emergency room traffic due to crack use were noted. Heck, they couldn’t help but be noticed, they doubled during that time.
The crack that was available during that time was very, very cheap, but it was very, very pure. It was said to be about 80+% pure, compared to the 55% purity of “ordinary” powder cocaine. It sold for as little as $2.50 for one “rock”.
Some people feel, however, that the epidemic would never have occurred had the media not called it that, thus starting a mass panic. So, how do they explain the sharp drop in crack cocaine use AFTER that? Isn’t that what an epidemic is? Something that shows up, sweeps across an area (in this case a whole country), then disappears? OK, then. It was an epidemic, no matter who first called it that.
If it is any consolation, the drop in crack cocaine use has occurred because the next generation saw so clearly the effects that the epidemic had on those who got caught up in it during its peak. In some places today (wouldn’t it be nice if it were ALL places) it is considered an insult to be called a “crack head”.
So, can this be considered a time when something good did come out of something bad? Or, has crack usage really gone down? Comments?