Illegal drugs do not benefit anyone and that’s a plain fact that can’t be debated. They have been one of the greatest menaces to societies around the world for the past fifty years, with countless people—especially young adults—losing their lives annually due to overdosing and drug abuse. The worst part is that drugs can not only kill you, but also alter and destroy your personality in the process as they change the chemical state of your body and mind. In many instances they also make you do things you normally wouldn’t if you were clean and sober.
One of the most addictive and catastrophic drugs out there is cocaine. Known as the “caviar of street drugs,” it has become the drug of choice of celebrities, fashion models, and even sportsmen. In many cases, athletes who violate anti-doping controls have been caught using cocaine as a stimulant. But what makes this drug so addictive, dangerous, and at the same time luxurious and glamorous? The 25 Facts About Cocaine That You Probably Didn’t Know that follow will hopefully enlighten you as to why you should stay away (at all costs) from cocaine and any other harmful drug.
Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca bush, which is indigenous to the Andes of South America.
Cocaine is the most powerful central nervous stimulant found in nature. Its physical effects include constricted blood vessels and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood flow. Those who use it experience greater alertness, energy, self-confidence, and even power after taking it.
Currently cocaine comes in two main forms: powder and crystal. The crystal rock form, known as crack or freebase, has not been neutralized by an acid.
Crack cocaine appeared in the mid-’80's and became an instant “hit” among the poor and young, thanks to its relatively inexpensive street price and quick euphoric effects.
The average street price for a gram of pure cocaine in the States is between $80 and $100. The average price for a rock of crack cocaine is $10 to $25.
Cocaine can be snorted, injected into the bloodstream, or smoked. The powder form is generally snorted or mixed with water and injected, while crack is most commonly smoked.
Cocaine is extremely addictive, and frequent users generally require an ever-increasing number of hits to get the same high. When the drug is smoked in the form of crack, addiction tends to develop more quickly.
Cocaine produces euphoria by activating the nerve cells in the brain that release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and alertness. The drug then prevents neural transporters from “cleaning up” the dopamine and storing it for a later time.
Cocaine is the second most commonly used illegal drug in the United States after marijuana. However, cocaine causes three times more deaths than any other illegal drug.
Coca leaves, the source of pure cocaine, have been chewed and ingested for thousands of years for their euphoric effect. The Inca were the first to use the leaves; they believed the coca plant was a gift from the gods.
Pure cocaine was first extracted from coca plant leaves in 1859 and was marketed in a fortified wine in France as early as 1863.
Substance abuse and addictions are common amongst celebrities. Check out 25 Celebrities Who Have Struggled With And Overcome Substance Abuse.