Derived from Erythroxylum coca, a plant native to parts of South America, cocaine is a drug known for its stimulation and euphoric properties. Its continuous and long-term use can alter the brain chemistry, leading to long-term changes in the brain’s reward system. Repeated and long-term use of the drug builds tolerance, which gradually leads to drug dependence when the user would need more of the drug to achieve the same euphoric effect. This eventually leads to compulsive tendencies and addiction.
Cocaine addiction does not discriminate; it is a problem affecting the lives of millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, it is treatable, and for those in the grips of this disease, cocaine addiction treatment at a professional rehab center is the right path to lead a sober and healthy life.
Cocaine consumption and its history
Pure cocaine was first isolated during the mid-nineteenth century. It became popular in Europe, in part, because of the enthusiastic endorsement by Sigmund Freud. (Ironically, in 1885, he published a paper arguing that cocaine could be used to cure morphine and alcohol addiction.) But Freud was not alone in believing that cocaine could cure a host of both physical and psychological maladies. Later in the century, cocaine became popular in America. It became the active ingredient in what were called “health tonics” that were marketed for their supposed benefits. The most famous of these was Coca-Cola, which first appeared in 1886.
As cocaine consumption increased, so did the instances of cocaine addiction, with an estimated 200,000 cases in 1902. The United States finally outlawed cocaine in 1914 with the passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act. There was a resurgence in the popularity of cocaine in the 1970s as a recreational drug. It was considered chic and erroneously touted as being non-addictive. Usage became extremely widespread during the 1980s, which is when crack cocaine first appeared. Crack is a potent and addictive form of cocaine prepared by cooking it with water and other ingredients until it forms rocks, which can then be smoked. Crack addiction became more widespread because crack cocaine was an inexpensive substance of abuse.
An addictive stimulant, cocaine can be snorted, rubbed on gums as a powder, smoked or injected after dissolving. Street names for cocaine include blow, coke, crack, rock, snow, C, and flake.