Zoom inside the human body from the moment the substance enters our systems. With the guidance of doctors, we learn about the intense highs and painful lows of one of the most widely used stimulants in the U.S.
Cocaine (INN), also known as benzoylmethylecgonine, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled, or injected into the veins. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils. High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes. Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.
Cocaine is addictive due to its effect on the reward pathway in the brain. After a short period of use, there is a high risk that dependence will occur. Its use also increases the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, lung problems in those who smoke it, blood infections, and sudden cardiac death. Cocaine sold on the street is commonly mixed with local anesthetics, cornstarch, quinine, or sugar which can result in additional toxicity. Following repeated doses a person may have decreased ability to feel pleasure and be very physicially tired.
Cocaine acts by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norephinephrine, and dopamine. This results in greater concentrations of these three neurotransmitters in the brain. It can easily cross the blood–brain barrier and may lead to the breakdown of the barrier. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant which are mostly grown in South America. In 2013, 419 kilograms were produced legally. It is estimated that the illegal market for cocaine is 100 to 500 billion USD each year. With further processing crack cocaine can be produced from cocaine.After cannabis, cocaine is the most frequently used illegal drug globally. Between 14 and 21 million people use the drug each year. Use is highest in North America followed by Europe and South America. Between one and three percent of people in the developed world use cocaine at some point in their life. In 2013 cocaine use directly resulted in 4,300 deaths, up from 2,400 in 1990. The leaves of the coca plant have been used by Peruvians since ancient times. Cocaine was first isolated from the leaves in 1860. Since 1961 the international Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has required countries to make recreational use of cocaine a criminal offence.
Some politicians are thinking on taking harder action in stopping the flow of this drug. But in reality you can’t stop something like this. By making it harder to get, raises the cost and the consequences, which will create more desperate and violent repercussions. For example, the government makes the consequences harder. The suppliers then get more desperate killings, crimes, robberies, and other crimes escalate. Individuals addicted generally good people do things they would not do under normal circumstances. Now on that note. The addict now loses, gets locked up and is labeled. He/she can’t work, can’t pay his bill, let alone pay outrageous fines and legal costs. The familes torn apart. Once the family structure breaks down, so does the community as a whole. The cost on fighting it and housing non-violent addicted individuals, not to mention the impact on society is far to great. Dealers make money off of misery to look glamorous, farmers raise the crops just so they can survive.
When cocaine is used it interferes with the reabsorption of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and movement, producing a euphoric effect. Shortly after cocaine is ingested the user may experience constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, increased heart rate and a higher blood pressure. During the euphoric period after cocaine use, which can last up until 30 minutes, user will experience hyperstimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental alertness. However, some users also experience restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. During a cocaine binge, when the drug is taken repeatedly, users may experience increasing restlessness, irritability and paranoia. For some users this can lead to a period of paranoid psychosis, with auditory hallucinations and a disconnection with reality.
Repeated cocaine use can cause or lead to irregular heart beats, heart attackts, chest pains, respiratory failure, stroke, seizure, headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea. Chronic users of cocaine can become malnourished due to the drug's ability to decrease appetite. Each method of taking cocaine can produce specific health effects. Snorting leads to chronically runny nose, nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, and problems swallowing. Ingesting leads to severe bowel gangrene due to a reduction in the flow of blood to the intestines. Lastly injection leads to severe allergic reactions. Increased risk for contracting HIV, Hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.
Cannabicyclohexanol (CCH, CP 47,497 dimethyloctyl homologue, (C8)-CP 47,497) is a cannabinoid receptor agonist drug, developed by Pfizer in 1979. On 19 January 2009, the University of Freiburg in Germany announced that an analog of CP 47,497 was the main active ingredient in the herbal incense product Spice, specifically the 1,1-dimethyloctyl homologue of CP 47,497, which is now known as cannabicyclohexanol. The 1,1-dimethyloctyl homologue of CP 47,497 is in fact several times more potent than the parent compound, which is somewhat unexpected as the 1,1-dimethylheptyl is the most potent substituent in classical cannabinoid compounds such as HU-210.
Black cocaine, also known as Coca Negra, is a mixture of regular cocaine base or cocaine hydrochloride with various other substances. These other substances are added
1. to camouflage the typical appearance (pigments and dyes, e.g. charcoal),
2. to interfere with color-based drug tests (mixing thiocyanates and iron salts or cobalt salts forms deep red complexes in solution),
3. to make the mixture undetectable by drug sniffing dogs (activated carbon, absorbs trace odors).
Since the result is usually black, it is generally smuggled as toner, fingerprint powder, fertilizer, pigment or metal moldings. The pure cocaine base can be recovered from the mixture by extraction (freebase) or acid-base extraction (hydrochloride) using common organic solvents such as acetone.
It was reported that in the mid-1980s Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet ordered his army to build a clandestine cocaine laboratory in Chile where chemists mixed cocaine with other chemicals to produce what Pinochet's former top aide for intelligence Manuel Contreras described as a "black cocaine" capable of being smuggled past drug agents in the US and Europe.
Black cocaine was detected in Bogota, Colombia in May 1998. In 2008, a new type of black cocaine was discovered by police in Spain. It had been manufactured into rubber-like sheets and made into luggage.