The use of recreational drugs has been a part of our society dating back many centuries. An example of such a drug would be Cocaine
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a popular drug. Its other name is benzoylmethylecgonine. Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant, mainly grown in the Andes Mountains of South America by the Inca civilization. The Incas first discovered the plant’s ability to cause a euphoric feeling and took it as a plant given to them by the gods. There-after, the Spanish conquistadors used the coca leaves as currency for labor because they realized that with the little cocaine derived from just chewing on the leaves made the laborers work harder. It was then processed into pure cocaine in 1860 by a chemistry graduate student in Germany. Albert Niemann used the leaves of the coca plant to extract the active agent alkaloid with a bitter taste and a colorless make-up. It was seen to leave a sense of numbness and a cold touch to the tongue when applied. It is seen to have a very powerful effect on the central nervous system compared to anything else found in nature. Physically it is seen to cause an increase in heart rate and blood flow, it increases the body’s temperature and constricts blood vessels. There after the person who has taken feels an increased sense of confidence, alertness, strength and lots of energy.
How has it evolved?
Supported by Sigmund Freud it was seen to be an agent that could be used as both medicinal and recreational. Carl Koller in 1884 found it to be useful as an anesthetic especially during eye, nose and throat surgery. Since then cocaine has been used for many purposes and evolved throughout the ages since its inventions. Freud sort to experiment with it to see if it could be used to cure morphine addiction while more and more he became addicted to it. Cocaine was also used as an experiment in alcohol by John Pemberton in his French wine but this was not a lasting product because of a prohibition law that was introduced. This led to it being used as an ingredient in the now very popular world-wide drink Coca-Cola in 1886, Georgia. It was meant to be a healthier option opposed to the alcoholic beverages of the time. In time this became a very unpopular option for the drink and the cocaine was then eliminated without affecting the brand name itself. From 1914 cocaine was now seen as an evil to society and initially branded as a drug that caused at the time termed “Negros to rape white women”. The use of it dropped drastically and came bouncing back in the 1960s and became even more popular in the 1970s and 80s. From then on it was now an illegal drug that has evolved even more from just the white powdery substance to being crystallized and called ‘crack’ cocaine. Cocaine can be taken in three different ways, it can be snorted through the nose, dissolved in water then injected into the blood stream or it can be smoked using the crystal based form. In the United States of America cocaine is seen as the second most popular drug of choice to marijuana. Columbia is the source of most the cocaine found in the U.S.A. and statistics show that about 35.9 million Americans from the ages of 12 going up try cocaine once in their lives, while about 2.1 million Americans use it regularly. World-wide cocaine is known to cause the most fatal deaths when it comes to drug abusers and even more so over other illegal drugs. Over the years cocaine has adopted other street names such as coke, blow, C, marching powder and nose candy only to mention a few. Those who deal in this drug dilute it to increase its quantity and make more money of it. This highly addictive illegal drug has caused more harm and deaths over the years than is worth the sense of euphoria that it causes. Those that are caught dealing the drug, taking the drug or in possession of the drug are prosecuted for these crimes and land themselves in prison for many years.