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A Research Paper On Cocaine, And Its Effects On The User.

1483 words - 6 pages

Grown in the countries of South America, with Columbia being the most productive, the Erythroxylon Coca bush is the natural origin of cocaine, a central nervous stimulant. Its history is as rich and diverse as the people using and dealing the drug.Cocaine use dates as far back as the 16th century when it was used among Inca royalty. In the early 1800's cocaine was introduced to Europe. Sigmond Freud wrote a song in its honor and famous author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" during a six -day cocaine binge. In the early 1900's cocaine was available to consumers over the counter. Its medicinal value was a relief for toothaches and congestion. Parke Davis advised their consumers of the effects of cocaine by stating that it "could make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain".The use of cocaine found its way into other products like wine and the most famous of all, Coca Cola. Early production of Coca Cola contained 60mg of cocaine. Today, the popular soft drink still uses the leaves of the Coco Bush for flavor but the illicit drug has been removed (www.cocaine.org).The resurrection of cocaine use as a recreational drug began in the 1960's, and was used mostly among the affluent because of its price. Movie stars, sport stars and the like give cocaine its mystique and draw; psychological and physical effects make it addictive. Changes in form and price make cocaine far more accessible and affordable. Today, there is no clear connection between the use of cocaine and education, occupation or socioeconomic status.Cocaine is generally sold as a hydrochloride salt, a fine white powder substance that is commonly referred to as "snow", "coke" or "blow". Street dealers of cocaine commonly dilute, or "cut" the drug with similar looking substances like talcum powder or with active local anesthetics and even sometimes with other stimulants like amphetamines. The purity of street cocaine, powder form, is about 75 percent. When the impurities of this form are removed, it is known as "freebase" or "crack" cocaine. "Crack" cocaine is easier to find and less expensive to buy. Cocaine in any form can be found in almost every town and city. Research studies done in 1999 showed cocaine is used by over 3.7 million Americans 12 years old and over, with the highest rate among people 18 and 25 years of age. The use among people 35 years and older also continues to rise (www.cocaine.org).The effects of cocaine depend on the route of administration, the amount of consumption, the user's past experience, and the circumstances under which its taken. The major routes of administration are snorting, injecting, and smoking. Snorting is inhaling the powder form through the nasal cavity. The drug enters the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Injecting cocaine is using a syringe to release the drug directly into the bloodstream. Smoking cocaine is inhaling the cocaine vapors or smoke delivering...

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