Cocaine is a powerful narcotic that is extracted from coca leaves. Users can opt to snort, smoke (in this case crack cocaine) or inject it directly into the bloodstream. The Coca plant grows abundantly on the slopes of Mt. Andes, which is in South America. The mountain slopes extend from Columbia, Peru and into Bolivia.
Its anesthetic capabilities were discovered in 1860 by the Spanish. In this article, we are going to learn about cocaine addiction.
History of Cocaine
Cocaine has many street names raging from Coke, Nose Candy, White Pony, Blow, Line, The Lady, Hard Rock, Snow, Dust, Cola, Flake, and the common Crack.
In 1886, Coca Cola included the leaves as an ingredient in the famous soft drink. This led to soaring sales of the soft drink due to its energizing effect it had on the drinker. Tonic and wine makers also include cocaine as an additive in their drinks in the early 1900’s.
Cocaine laced drinks were available to drinkers of all social classes. By 1905, snorting cocaine was a popular and the effects of the use of cocaine became more evident in 1930’s. There were more than 5,000 cocaine related deaths in one year, and the drug was officially banned.
In the 1970’s cocaine emerged as a fashionable drug thanks to Hollywood producers and this soared its use in the U.S. Originally cocaine was a rich mans drugs but in the 1980’s these statistics changed as it was no longer considered as a drug for the wealthy.
Columbian drug cartels controlled cocaine shipping into the U.S and by the early 1990’s they were shipping 500-800 tons of cocaine into the U.S.
In 2007, the U.S Federal Courts released statistics involving suspects involved in cocaine-related crimes and found out that 5,477 individuals were involved.
More than 95% of the individuals were involved in trafficking cocaine. The U.S national survey released its findings in 2006 that 8.6 million U.S citizens aged above 12 have used cocaine. Spain has the highest rate of cocaine usage with 3% of the adult population indulging in cocaine use.
U.S follows Spain closely with a 2.8% of its adult population use Cocaine. Cocaine use is steadily rising in Europe as it’s the second most abused drug behind Cannabis.
medical Risks of Prolonged Cocaine Abuse
Snorting, smoking and injecting cocaine has instantaneous results. Cocaine interferes with chemical transmitter / neurotransmitters in the brain. Cocaine blocks dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters from being reabsorbed. This chemical results in the individual feeling high or euphoric.
Users who are high on cocaine have a sense of alertness and an extremely elevated mood and feel more energetic and superior. Prolonged use of cocaine can damage the user’s heart since cocaine increases an individual’s blood pressure. High blood pressure can also damage its victims lungs.
Cocaine constricts blood vessels in the brain leading to seizures, stroke and trigger violent behavior. Snorting cocaine damages the user’s nasal cavity and in some individual it irritates the lungs. Ulcers can also develop due the constriction of blood vessels in the stomach. Cocaine is also seen as an aphrodisiac.
Social Risks of Cocaine Abuse
Some of the social risks that cocaine users exhibit is violent behavior. Repeated cocaine use leads to tolerance of the drug and an individual will have to increase their dosage. Typical cocaine withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, depression, craving for cocaine, tremors, chills and inability to feel pleasure.