July 16th, 2014

1. Sources and forms of the drugs:

Coca plant seeds

Cocaine is derived from a plant called coca that is found on the continent of South America. Coca is a bush that grows in the Andes and produces cocaine. When coca is derived from the plant it can be converted into a few different forms. One form is cocaine, which is the active chemical in the coca plant. Coca paste is another form, which is a crude extract containing cocaine in a smokable form. Also there is cocaine hydrochloride that is a common form of pure cocaine, it is stable and water soluble. Freebase is a method of preparing cocaine as a chemical base so that it can be smoked. Lastly, there is rock which is just another name for crack.

2. History of the drug:

coca1

The history of cocaine dates back to the earlier civilization in the Americas, around 5000 B.C. of what was to become the Inca Empire in Peru, were the use of coca was originally traced back. Botanists suggest coca originated some 8,000 years ago (Peruvian Cocaine and the Boomerang of History, 2014, page 1, para 3). One of the suspected origin’s of cocaine was discovered by pioneer-chemist Albert Niemann in 1859. Albert Niemann performed the process by extracting the coca leaves. Although there are a few people credited to these findings Albert Niemann is one of the primary German chemist that is found when performing research. Another famous individual to encourage cocaine was Sigmund Freud, who studied the drug for medical treatments in a variety of elements. Below (Albert Niemann)

Unknown

Early use of the drug was primarily medical even though major concerns were aware from the purity of the coca bean. It was regarded as the drug that would solve many issues and cure many illness over a short period of time. It has been reported the first non medical use was in the military were Theodor Aschenbrandt administered cocaine to the Bavarian military. Here Theodor concluded the drug was able to enhance the Bavarian’s army’s endurance. Because of this success, cocaine became later available at over-the-counter retail stores where it was used to cure many problems.

cola

Also it is no secret anymore that Cocaine was once one of the primary ingredients in our popular drink Coca-Cola back in the late 1880s. The high doses has since been removed and a very small percent roughly about (0.01%-0.09%) is found in our Coca-Cola products today, which is only for flavor. Cocaine was once dried leaf syrups used in coca-cola (Peruvian Cocaine and the Boomerang of History, 2014, page 1, para 3).

3. Drug use/misuse in the US:

Cocaine is the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world. According to recent surveys by Peter Reuter, a professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, who researches drugs believes that one reason why Cocaine’s popularity’s has declined is it simply went out of fashion. Cocaine‚Äôs popularity has declined (“Drug in U.S.,” 2013, July 29, para. 3). This is not saying that people have stopped doing drugs completely, this could mean a variety of things such as other alternatives. Other drugs re-invented such as molly, myth, and marijuana, which has become legal in some States but steal illegal Federal wise. Current trends show that drugs that are popular in the media (music) have caught on to our current culture in the United States. As of 2011 the U.S.-Columbian partnership is credited for the astonishing 41 percent decrease in worldwide cocaine production since 2001. U.S.-Columbian partnership (“Drug in U.S.,” 2013, July 29, para. 6). With the decrease in cocaine usage it should be further examined the pharmacology effects and how it has impacted users throughout the years.

4. Pharmacology and effects:

cocaine_1763461a

Cocaine is a drug that comes in a variety of forms. With so many different forms cocaine can be taking in many different methods such as through the nose (snorting), injection, and smoking. Through the nose cocaine is in a powder format allowing the individual to inhale the powder leaving behind debris on the nose possibly. This method is very dangerous as it can damage the nasal passage with bruising and other severe damage. The powdered form of cocaine is either inhaled (“Drug Facts: Cocaine,” 2013, April, Cocaine Use section, para. 1). Crack cocaine is also called freebased can be smoked and go directly into the blood-stream causing a quick high.

A young addict injects himself with drugs

Lastly, there is injection by a needle usually into the arm or other veins, which is another direct method of a faster high. All methods are a quick way to become addicted and causes serious damage long term to the body. With excessive usage of cocaine it’s known to cause damage in the brain cells, heart attacks, and pose a higher risk of becoming HIV positive. Injecting or smoking cocaine delivers (“Drug Facts: Cocaine,” 2013, April, Cocaine Use section, para. 3). Repeated users sometimes have to increase their usage because its not as effective as the first few times, therefore allowing the individual to increase the risk of adverse psychological or physiological effects. To sustain their high (“Drug Facts: Cocaine,” 2013, April, Cocaine Use section, para. 4). Its amazing that people when intoxicated with the drug how severe they are in need of the drug as the addiction is to strong to control that they increase their usage risking a chance of overdose.

5. Causes for concerns:

Acute toxicity: There is no evidence to support that occasional use of small amounts of cocaine is a threat to the individual’s health. But people increase the amount to a point of toxicity according to the text. In a 1992 study that the combination of cocaine and alcohol (ethanol) in the body could result in the formation of a chemical called cocaethylene, which was extremely more toxic than cocaine alone.

Chronic toxicity: Taking cocaine in the form of a binge is known to lead to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This experience is very disruptive and scary even though people do sometimes recover. Use the drug in a binge pattern (“Drug Facts: Cocaine,” 2013, April, Cocaine Use section, para. 4).

Dependence potential: It is said that every laboratory animal will be given the opportunity to self-adminsister cocaine. Cocaine over the years has developed to be one of the drugs to very powerful over the human body was gained control.

Social issues: Its obvious social life when using the drug can either grow amongst the wrong crowd or lower amongst previous friends and family members. Family may begin to distant themselves and old friends may no longer want to be associated with an addict. Thanks to the treatment programs that are available it is important that when able to take advantage of the programs to rebuild those lost strain relationships with family, friends, and peers.

6. Current beneficial use:

There is current beneficial use of cocaine as has the ability to numb the area to which it is applied. This was first discovered in 1860 soon after the isolation from coca leaves. More than twenty-years after that around 1884 it was then used medically for treatment such as eye surgery and dentistry. Obviously, misuse was clear synthetic agents were found to be very similar anesthetic characteristics. (Novocain) Cocaine is still used largely in surgery for the nasal, laryngeal, and esophageal regions. Cocaine has also been used by athletes and entertainers felt that they could not perform at their peek without the drug.

7. Overall health impact assessment:

Cocaine is a very addictive drug and hazardous as well. If injecting you pose yourself at high risk for HIV infection and potential health related issues, which is another reason why its safe to say pass on this drug or any other related substances. Cocaine users put themselves at risk (“Drug Facts: Cocaine,” 2013, April, Health section, para. 3).Why would a person want to at risk for a heart attack, pupil reaction, and or any side effect for that matter. Its a question that isn’t answer other than it’s a personal addiction that needs treatment.

8. Personal drug use cases: Personally, I do I am not aware of anyone in my surroundings who are taking this drug or who are addicted. If I did happen too know someone who needed help I would do whatever possible to help them seek treatment. You only can help someone so much and if they seem to not be improving I would leave it up to the person as they would have to want to change as well. Sometimes people aren’t looking for help and others are so you just have to at least try for those who want it and move on from those who do not seek help.

9. Approaches to prevention/mitigation:

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There are many treatment facilities around the nation that provide help for those seeking it. There are local organizations, websites, and toll free numbers available to the entire public. A big organization that is known is the American Addiction Centers. They have a website available with a user friendly access immediately posting their telephone number to those who visit the site. The best thing about it is that it is free, easy, and confidential consultations. There are thousands of organizations like this one that are available 24 hours of the day 7 days a week and there slogan is that addiction is a disease and it is treatable. Another important resource that is available to those who have an addiction and are employed with a company. It is illegal to fire someone for an addiction without the company offering to help the employee and better there life no matter if its drug or alcohol related. This opens up opportunities and doors for even more drug-free survivors.

drugs prison stick figure

Wisconsin itself has beefed up their laws pertaining to cocaine such as anyone who is in possession or attempt to posses: faces up to 1 year and or up to $5000 in county jail; subsequent offense: class I felony sale less than 1 gram.: class G felony.; 1-5 g.: class F felony; 5-15 g.: class E felony; 15-40 g.: class D felony; over 40 g.: class C felony; Sale within 1000 ft. of school: mandatory 3 yrs. without parole. Penalties vary according to the type of CDS involved (“Wisconsin Sale of Controlled Substances,” n.d., Penalties section, para. 1).

10. Recommended action:

Coca is known to be high in purity and once the leaves are extracted we now have cocaine in one form or another. Cocaine is specifically is a very dangerous drug and poses higher risk. The risk range from being very harmful to the body physically and emotionally and also can result in jail time for a long period and or fines. Does any of that information sound like something you would like to see yourself get involved in? I know for sure that I wouldn’t and there are other alternatives out there when considering to do cocaine. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend cocaine too anyone even my worst enemy. Be safe and say no to drugs.

11. References:

Drop in U.S. Cocaine Use Due to Waning Popularity, New Colombian Drug Strategies. (2013, July 29). Drug Free Web site. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drop-in-u-s-cocaine-use-due-to-waning-popularity-new-colombian-drug-strategies/

Drug Facts: Cocaine (2013, April). Drug Abuse Web site. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine

Wisconsin Sale of Controlled Substances Laws (n.d.) Criminal Defense Lawyer Web site. Retrieved July 17, 2014, from http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/drug-charges/sale-controlled-substance-wisconsin

GOOTENBERG, P. (2014). Peruvian Cocaine and the Boomerang of History. NACLA Report On The Americas, 47(2), 48-49.

Bell, R. P., Foxe, J. J., Ross, L. A., & Garavan, H. (2014). Intact inhibitory control processes in abstinent drug abusers (I): A functional neuroimaging study in former cocaine addicts. Neuropharmacology, 82143-150. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.02.018