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The history of cocaine is very interesting. Cocaine is typically grown in the countries of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. The Incas and other South American Indians have used the leaves of the coca plant for thousands of years.  In ceremonies and rituals, shamans would either smoke, drink tea or swallow the masticated juices of the dried leaves in pursuit of inducing a trance like a state with occasional visions.

A Little on the History of Cocaine

When the Spanish discovered the properties of the cocoa plant, they not only taxed it but used it to bolster the stamina of their mining work forces, which were comprised of enslaved Indians.  They found it to increase productivity by reducing appetite, diminishing the requirements of sleep and elevating physical endurance.

History Of CocaineCocaine is an extremely powerful natural stimulant that directly affects the brain and the rest of the central nervous system.  Since its introduction into Western culture in the late 1800’s, it has been used in a multitude of ways.

Cocaine could be found in just about anything including cigarettes, soft drinks and various tonics used to treat the symptoms of colds and other maladies.  Even today, although it has been replaced in many areas by synthetics, it is still used as a local anesthesia during surgical procedures of the eyes, ears, and mouth.  For a long time cocaine has been considered a therapeutic drug of many applications.

Even the well known Sigmund Freud praised its use in the eradication of several undesirable symptoms.  It was not until the early nineteen hundreds that people began to notice the many behavioral and psychiatric problems that accompany the use of cocaine.  In 1906 with the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and then in 1914 with the Harrison Act, cocaine became illegal to sell in over the counter products due to its addictive qualities.

This significantly limited its use for a time until the mid nineteen hundred when it began to hit the streets through the black market.  In 1970 cocaine was classified as a schedule II controlled substance because of its addictive and abusive nature.  It can, however, still be administered by a doctor for specific medical uses. Cocaine users purchase their drug of choice on the streets to continue their drug addiction.

Throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, cocaine once again became popular in the United States.  Although illegal, it was still relatively easy to find and became a large black market import.  Made popular by the example and affluence of celebrities, media, and financial opportunities, cocaine became prevalent in most cities.  During this time period, cocaine drug abuse was rather expensive and was typically used by the middle and upper class as a recreational drug.  Discos, clubs, and other dancing establishments were quite popular in this era and not only condoned the use of the illicit club drug but often provided it.

CocaineThe crack was introduced into the United States sometime in the late eighties.  Crack is a cocaine base processed with ammonia or baking soda and water created for the purpose of smoking it, which enables immediate absorption from the lungs to the blood  The formulation of crack cocaine has taken the cocaine market to extremes as it allows dealers to sell it in small amounts for very little money.  This has enabled cocaine to become available to not only the rich and influential but to everyone.

Cocaine is not as popular today as it was twenty years ago.  It is, however, still prevalent and equally as destructive.  Many people suffer from cocaine addiction and the disabling problems that accompany it. Drug rehab programs can assist someone addicted to cocaine through detoxification and recovery.

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