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The History Of Cocaine

Cocaine is an addictive drug which is extracted from the coca leaves. This plant has been used for some spiritual ritual in various parts of the globe for centuries now. The coca plant is commonly found in the high South Americas mountainous ranges. The name cocaine comes from the name "coca" which is the name of the plant it is extracted from. This drug is a CNS stimulant and a hunger suppressant and when combined they result in a short lived euphoric sensation of both energy & happiness.

Coca plant and the Andean Indians

In the Andean culture, the plant was associated to a sacred goddess referred to as the coca-goddess. For a successful harvest each year this natives used to please their goddess. So they either smoked or chewed the leaves of this plant which they believed helped them connect with the spiritual being and give them some powers plus magical protection.

Customarily, the leaves were only chewed and smoked by only the leaders of the Andean Indians, but over time the lower classes citizen were encouraged to use it so that the whole community could enjoy the benefits of this plant. This plant helped by boosting their energy and reducing their appetite while stabilizing their moods. This leaves increased the breathing pace of Indians who chewed it thus increasing their stamina making it possible for them to work in the high latitude region. Coca leaves were believed to cure various ailments like indigestion, ulcers, malaria and asthma. It was also used as an aphrodisiac.

This plant provided the natives with various vitamins and had the capability of growing in regions where many plant cannot even germinate. So for these natives chewing the coca leaves was more of a survival technique than luxury. Although, its nutritional value should not be confused with today's snorting, smoking plus injection of cocaine as this is simply abuse.

Extraction of cocaine from the coca leaves

The first extraction of the drug from the coca leaves was done during the 1860s. Then cocaine was viewed as a special drug which was used only to treat morphine addiction and depression and it was strictly prescribed by only the physicians. After sometimes, the physicians noted some problem with this drug so its popularity reduced around the 1920s.

Since the narcotic laws had not been put in place, getting and using this drug in the untimely 1900s was easy and the narcotic way of life was acceptable in the society. Various famous individuals including Sarah Bernhart, Thomas Edison promoted the use of this drug. In the movie industry, cocaine was the main stream and various silent movies passed many pro-cocaine messages which affected the populous. Various famous individuals gave their testimonial about the positive effects of cocaine while some advertised it through their publicized lifestyles.

This drug was used in many ways just like heroin and opium during the 1900s; cocaine became an active constituent in many beverages and cure-all tonics. Cocaine was directly mixed with some opiates and given to both the young and the mature population. Many big companies like coca-cola halted the use of this plant as a key constituent in their products after its effect were noted later in 1903, when the doctors discovered that it had some unpleasant consequences on the human brain.

Cocaine's side effect resulted in the coining of the word "dope fiend" because of the behavior noted in an individual who used this drug for a long time. Cocaine is a very strong stimulant and its prolonged use results in severe loss of sleep and appetite. These individuals could go for weeks without taking a nap or eating anything. These individuals experienced some psychotic behaviors like hallucination and within a short they became delusional.

The US took control of this bad drug in 1914 with the Harrison-narcotic act which addressed the effects of cocaine even though it is not a narcotic in section 6. This act helped regulate coca distribution in the US. Cocaine became illegal in the US in 1970, when the controlled-substance-act declared it illegal as a schedule-II drug.

Even after it popularity reduced, in some parts of South America cocaine was still being produced in large quantities. This drug was produced in their underground labs and is a source of income for many individual in these parts of the South America.

Cocaine today

This drug made a comeback in the US during the 1970s & 1980s and although it was an illegal drug, its demand was still very high. The price of cocaine was very high then and its distribution and use soon became associated with a lot of violence. The regions where this drug was sold became dangerous because of the violence and the guns brought with this business.

The famous crack cocaine is the version of cocaine used currently. Cocaine rocks smoking became popular during the 1970s. This method of using cocaine was originally developed by distributors for the main purpose of testing the product's purity before they could purchase the merchandize from the producers. Even though crack seems like a new product in the market, it has a long history just like the other drugs including heroin. Crack is not a new thing as it has been in use in different forms in the world, history of cocaine can be dated back to 1980s.

Currently cocaine use is still illegal in many parts of the world and it is very easy to get addicted to the drug. Cocaine abuse has made many users to disregard various things in their life and only focus on getting high. Smoking and injecting this drug directly to your veins create an intense and instant effect. Snorting creates an intense effect within a very short time which lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes depending on the dose. Smoking brings an instant intense result which also fades away very fast. These methods are the main cause of addiction and overdose as noted over the years. The best solution for addicts is seeking help in various rehabilitation facilities especially the places which offer residential care for a very long term as beating this addiction is not an overnight war but a long hard but possible journey.