The number of cocaine-related emergency visits and treatment requests has nearly dropped by half since the economy began its decline a few years ago, and at least one doctor who treats addicts believes the two are related.
In 2006, for example, there were 478 “accidental deaths” blamed on cocaine overdose in the city. That number dropped to 274 – a decline of nearly 43 percent – last year, according to data from the medical examiner’s office obtained by The New York Post.
But it may not be a renewed focus on health that’s contributed to the decline in cocaine-related deaths. It may be the cost of the drug, which can cost between $50 and $80 a gram.
“Many cocaine addicts tell me stories they don’t have enough money to buy it anymore,” Dr. Stephen Ross, director of NYU’s Langone Center of Excellence on Addition, tells the Post.
“It is sort of on a slight but downward trend,” Ross, who treats patients in private practice, said of cocaine use.