Cocaine

Anna Schulte and Jen McNally

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What is cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant in South America. It comes in two forms; powder cocaine and crack cocaine. Powder cocaine is a white substance known as hydro-chloride salt. It is often used along with other substances such as cornstarch, sugar, or active drugs like procaine and amphetamines. Procaine produces a local anesthesia which causes a person to not feel pain in parts of their body. Crack is cocaine that has been processed to form a rock crystal that makes a cracking sound when smoked, hence the name crack.

How is cocaine used in medicine?

In the 1880's cocaine was used in eye surgeries because it numbed the eye and stopped most of the bleeding. It was also used to help people with depression and heart disease. Sigmund Freud prescribed cocaine for heart disease , psychiatry, and morphine addiction. He also said, "I take very small doses of it regularly to fight depression".

How is it administered?

Powder cocaine is usually snorted. It is sometimes mixed with water and injected using a needle. It can also be rubbed onto the gums or other tissues in the body. Crack cocaine is most often heated and produces vapors that are smoked through a pipe and absorbed into the blood through the lungs. People often take cocaine and crack cocaine repeatedly in short amounts of time at increasingly higher doses to "keep the high going".

What are the physical and psychological effects?

Cocaine causes pupils to dilate, body temperature to go up, heart to beat faster, decreased appetite, inability to sleep
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How long do the effects last?

When snorting cocaine the effects last 15 to 30 minutes but when smoking it lasts 5 to 10 minutes.

What is the tolerance/withdrawal/overdose of this substance?

Some withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are cold sweats, tremors, twitching, nausea, vomiting, headache, and nightmares. Taking several doses of cocaine and taking it with different drugs increases the chance of an overdose. The more you take cocaine the less intense the pleasure is.

What are the laws and social concerns about cocaine?

The penalties for using or possessing cocaine are very severe. It is listed as a schedule II controlled substance and can result in a long sentence and/or large fines. Crack cocaine has harsher penalties that powder cocaine. If caught with 28 grams of crack cocaine there is a mandatory 5 year sentence for the first offense. It takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to receive the same sentence.
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Support systems for those addicted

Because cocaine is listed as a schedule II stimulant, it has a very high potential for abuse. The chances for becoming addicted after just one use are very high. It can also take just one time to kill a person, so it is very important to avoid this drug. If this drug doesn't kill someone it can ruin a life.

There is no currently no medicine to treat cocaine addiction. Rehabilitation takes time, patience, and a want to quit. It involves spending time in a rehab facility and cognitive behavior therapy or other therapies.

Cocaine and drug epidemic in New Hampshire (video)

Works Cited

"Cocaine." NIDA for teens. National Institute of Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. <https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/stimulants>.

"Cocaine." Science in Context. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2016. <http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/scic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=SCIC&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&display-query=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Reference&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&search_within_results=&p=SCIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CCV2645000010&source=Bookmark&u=amhe95753rpa&jsid=2a693e58a739a8ea3880194e8d01ef32>.

"Cocaine and Crack Facts." Drug Policy Alliance. Drug Policy Alliance, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/cocaine-and-crack-facts>.

Kids Health. "Cocaine." Teens Health. Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/?search=y&getfields=description&q=cocaine&site=kh&client=ms_t_en&output=xml_no_dtd&gsaRequestId=7457070404200936186&filter=0>.

"Pharmaceutical Use of Cocaine." Narconon. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016. <http://www.narconon.org/drug-information/cocaine-circa-1860-1900.html>.

"Report on Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy Chapter 6: The National Legislative and Law Enforcement Response to Cocaine." United States Sentencing Commission. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016. <http://www.ussc.gov/report-cocaine-and-federal-sentencing-policy-2>.

Volkow, Nora D. "Cocaine." National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIH, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-short-term-effects-cocaine-use>.