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King of Coke

There was a certain style of dress and type of music that was a part of the drug culture in the 1980s. Recreational drug use was big during this time and a way to assert your identity.

There was a certain style of dress and type of music that was a part of the drug culture in the 1980s. Recreational drug use was big during this time and a way to assert your identity. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels

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  • The cocoaine market was valued at nearly $140 billion dollars in 1998.

  • Drug violence pushed the murder rate to its highest point in America's history (between 8-10 per 100,000 residents from 1981-1991).

  • Economically challenged cities like Detroit, Trenton, Baltimore and Gary, Indiana became capital cities for international murder, making America the most violent industrialized nation in the world.

  • In 1982, 22 million Americans had used cocaine at one time or another.

  • A 1986 Gallup poll asked Americans, "Which one of the following do you think is the MOST serious problem for society today: Marijuana, alcohol abuse, heroin, crack, other forms of cocaine or other drugs?" At 42%, "crack" and "other forms of cocaine" beat "alcohol abuse" by eight percentage points.

  • The first major media outlet to broadcast the term "crack cocaine was the New York Times in 1985. Crack cocaine usage was deemed to be at "epidemic proportions" by 1986, according to major news outlets.

  • By 1986 cocaine-related deaths and emergency-room visits had tripled in just five years.

  • Cocaine, as an expensive drug seen as a status symbol became synonymous with yuppies.

  • The 1970s saw the explosion of disco, which as a high energy, dance-orientated culture, went hand in hand with cocaine.

  • Miami became a battleground for Colombian drug lords due to it's proximity to South America, a key entry point for cocaine smugglers trying to grab their slice of the American Dream.

  • From 1981 through 1986 the average grade of street cocoain doubled in purity and prices for the drug significantly declined, resulting in an increased availability.

  • A group known as The Cocaine Cowboys ran the Miami drug trade and were responsible for the importation and distribution of cocaine.

  • In the early 1980s, Miami had the highest murder rate in the world.

  • The song Double Dutch Bus by Frankie Smith was number 1 on the US Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart for 8 weeks. Frankie Smith was signed to Larry Lavin's record label WMOT Records.

  • Cocaine is the most frequently reported illicit substance associated with drug abuse fatalities and causes three times more deaths than any other illegal drug.

  • Yuppie is short for "young urban professional" or "young upwardly-mobile professional" and is a term that refers to a member of the upper middle class or upper class in their 20s or 30s. It first came into use in the early 1980s.

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