History of Cocaine in America

One of the most prevalent and widely abused drugs in the United States is derived from a plant which has been used around for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, spiritual rituals, and recreational use.

During the late 1800s, cocaine was first synthesized by  a German scientist, Albert Neimann. The drug quickly became prominent in the European countries, used by doctors as a magic bullet drug, curing fatigue, toothaches, headaches, and many other medical issues. During the 1880s, Cocaine was introduced to the United States by Dr. William Halstead, once surgeon in chief for John Hopkins Hospital, who would late struggle with an addiction to cocaine.  By 1886, coca leaves were actually used in the original recipe for Coca Cola. By the turn of the 19th century, widespread cocaine use became the norm in the United States, becoming an ingredient in many everyday items.  The drug soon became a cause for concern, and it was not long until President William Taft declared cocaine to be a national threat.

The Harrison Act was passed in December 1914, where cocaine was initially regulate by the federal government.  This act banned the non-medical use of cocaine, prohibited any importing of the drug, and regulated it like any other controlled substance.  Because of the Harrison Act, cocaine was harshly regulated, creating the emergence of a cheaper, more available drug, amphetamines.  As a result, cocaine became scarce, and by the 1950s, national law enforcement no longer considered it a threat.

Cocaine did not re-emerge as a threat to the U.S. until the 1960s. Because of this, in 1970, Congress classified cocaine as a Schedule II controlled substance. Even during the late 70s, the scientific community still did not consider cocaine to be a serious health threat.  By the early 1980s, the American public began to look at cocaine in a new light. They began to see the dangers and threats that this drug posed to our society.  The drug would continue to torment the United States despite efforts to abolish cocaine from the country.


Cocaine Today

According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 36.8 million Americans aged 12 and older had tried cocaine at least once in their lifetimes, representing 14.7% of the population aged 12 and older.  While cocaine has become a less significant threat in comparison to that of methamphetamine, the drug still continues to pose a threat to society.

Crack-cocaine is the name given to cocaine when the drug is mixed with baking soda and turned into a rock form. When the rock of crack-cocaine is heated, a vapor is created, and abusers will free base this vapor. When consumed with this method, the user has an intense high followed by an intense low. This intense low causes the user to seek out more crack-cocaine leading to a severe addiction.


Signs of Cocaine Addiction

There are several physical signs a person will show when they are abusing cocaine including:   blood shot eyes, runny nose, no appetite, loss of weight, increased rate of breathing, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature, disturbed sleep patterns, and bloody nose. Cocaine may cause a person to have a change in behavior.  Signs of emotional change include: bizarre behavior, violent, hallucinations, irritability, intense highs followed by intense lows, depressions, anxiety, paranoia, and rapid talking.  When a person begins abusing cocaine, they may start hanging with a new group of friends.  The individual will begin to isolate themselves, and their relationships will begin to fail.  Activities such as work, hobbies, or other important interests will fall to the side of the drug use.


Effects of Cocaine

Narconon cocaine rehab centers have seen a continual number of clients struggling with this type of addiction.

Part of the reason for this is when someone uses cocaine, it stimulates the brain and causes extremely heightened euphoria.  When the individual develops a tolerance, addiction will get worse and worse.  The addict soon fails to reach the sought after high and will need to get more cocaine.  The drug will begin to run the addicts life.  They will need it to normally function throughout the day. A cocaine addict will be unable to complete a cycle of action without the presence of cocaine. If a person does not get their dose of cocaine, they will experience intense cravings, causing them to do anything to get more cocaine.   They will stop spending time with people who do not use cocaine, or places where they cannot consume cocaine, for fear of abstinence from cocaine and the resulting intense cravings. The individual will begin to isolate themselves, and their relationships will begin to fail.  Activities such as work, hobbies, or other important interests will fall to the side of the drug use.  Cocaine can destroy a person’s life and body but, still, leave them wanting more.  The drug continues to destroy lives and families in today’s society.

For more information on cocaine or other drugs call Narconon at 800-468-6933.



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