Teen cocaine use plummets in Arizona

Sep 18, 2012, 6:53 AM | Updated: 6:54 am

PHOENIX — Cocaine use among teenagers in Arizona has been cut in half since 2002, according to local drug-prevention experts.

A decade ago, one-in-10 teens said they had used cocaine, today that number is one in 20.

“It’s not currently viewed as the cool thing to do,” said Shelly Mowery of DrugFreeAZ.org. “So kids are less likely to use that drug.”

Mowery also said while it’s encouraging that cocaine use among teens is down, there is movement in the other direction on other drugs, including marijuana, prescriptions drugs, hallucinogens, ecstasy and heroin.

And even with tough state and federal laws cracking down on sales of the drug “bath salts,” it continues to be a problem because drug makers change the recipe just enough to get around the law.

“These drugs can be every bit as dangerous as other drugs like methamphetamine, like PCP,” said Mowery. “In the case of synthetic marijuana you never know what you’re getting. It can be a different mixture every time.”

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Teen cocaine use plummets in Arizona