Cocaine use in in the U.S. has dropped by almost half since 2006. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that .5 percent of the population used cocaine in 2011, compared to 1 percent of the population in 2006. So how did Americans ultimately say no to cocaine? NPR says the answers go beyond individual users, ranging from a passing trend to international policies.
In the 1980s, Jay McInerney’s novel Bright Lights, Big City captured a culture of glitz, glamor, and cocaine. “The drug went out of vogue a long time ago,” says drug expert Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland. “Lots of people experiment with it, but very few of the people that experiment with it in the last 20 years have gone on to become regular users of it.” Daniel Mejia of the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota credits Colombian policies after 2008. President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon moved from attacking coca crops to emphasizing drug seizures and targeting labs and facilities that turned coca leaves into cocaine.