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Subst Use Misuse. 1996 Aug;31(10):1227-40.

Epidemiology of coca derivatives use in the Andean region: a tale of five countries.

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  • 1Center for Mental Health, National Faculty of Public Health, Medellin, Colombia.


The countries of the Andean Region (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) have recently reported findings from drug use surveys. An integrated comparison of their results and the results from other countries is presented. A total of 24,108 people were surveyed. Lifetime prevalence of cocaine or coca paste use was between 0.8 and 3.0%. The highest prevalence of coca paste or cocaine use was found among individuals who were middle-age, middle-class, males, people who finished high school, those who had high income, and urban dwellers. The most frequent age of first use was 15 to 24 years. The study shows that coca and derivatives use is a public health problem that is affecting a productive segment of the population of this region.

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