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Is Cocaine a Narcotic | West Palm Beach

Definition of Cocaine

Cocaine is a potent stimulant drug that comes from the coca plant leaves. South American people used the drug chewed the leaves of the coca plant to help them perform at work. The Andes Mountain is well-known for its altitude; workers consume the drug to help them breathe in thin air.

In the country, the government labeled cocaine as a Schedule II drug. This type of drugs contains addictive properties and poses health hazards. Even though cocaine generates addiction, the medical community still uses cocaine as a local anesthesia for the eye, ear, and throat surgeries.

The drug commonly sold illegally as a fine, white and crystalline powder. Because of its appearance, dealers often mix cocaine with non-psychoactive substances like flour, cornstarch, and baking soda to yield more of the drug, increasing their profits.

Street names of cocaine include:

  •    C
  •    coke
  •    snow
  •    powder
  •    blow

If the health hazards are not enough, some users mix the drug with other drugs like heroin or coined as a ‘speedball’.

History of Cocaine

Cocaine hydrochloride is the purest form and was first discovered more than 100 years ago. It acts as the main ingredient for several elixirs and tonics. Even the famous Coca-Cola got its name from cocaine, as it used it as their main ingredient for the drink.  People in the early times believed that these tonics can cure various illnesses.

Over the past few years, studies show that cocaine can generate addiction easily and can damage brain structures and its functions. Today, users snort, smoke and inject cocaine to get the intense high it produces.

How Cocaine is consumed

As a fast acting drug, cocaine can take effect within 2 seconds up to several minutes after taking it. The effect usually last from 5 minutes to 90 minutes.     

Short-term effects of cocaine include:

  •    loss of contact with the real world
  •    intense feeling of happiness
  •    agitation
  •    fast heart rate
  •    sweating
  •    dilates pupils

Long-term effects of the drug are as follows:

  •    high blood pressure
  •    high body temperature
  •    anxiety
  •    sleep disorders
  •    paranoia
  •    tremors and muscle twitches
  •    nausea and vomiting
  •    rapid and weak pulse
  •    chest pain
  •    heart attack
  •    kidney failure
  •    seizures
  •    convulsions
  •    brain hemorrhage
  •    stroke

What is narcotics?

Narcotics comes from the Greek word, “to make numb”, initially referring to the psychoactive compound that induces sleep. In the United States, narcotics are often associated with opiates and opioids. Some of the drugs under this group include morphine, heroin, and codeine.

Today, the term narcotics are sometimes associated with negative implications. However, in the medical community, narcotics are more defined and do not carry the same negative implications.  In the US legal context, narcotics would simply mean prohibited drugs. It can also suggest drugs that are under strict government regulation like cannabis and cocaine.

Also, narcotics is not a technical term and do not have a strict definition. The term varied throughout history. In medical term, it means any sort of drugs that induces sleep or produces ‘tranquilizing effect’.

The side effects of Narcotics:

Narcotics can reduce pain in the body and produces several more side effects such as:

  •    euphoric feeling
  •    an altered or heightened sense of well-being
  •    sleepiness
  •    lethargic
  •    loss of appetite
  •    stomach upsets
  •    nausea
  •    vomiting
  •    speech problems
  •    seizures
  •    decreased heart rate

Narcotics and its legality

The legislative classification of narcotics carries heavy penalties for violating the regulations.  Under the law, narcotics are:

  •    Drugs considered as depressants or dull the senses.
  •    Used as a generic term for drugs that cannot be legally sold, possessed or transported aside for medical purposes.  A person who needs to use the drug needs to get a valid medical prescription from doctors.

Is Cocaine a Narcotic?

The US Food and Drug Administration classified cocaine as a Schedule II drug in 1922. Because it contains properties like:

  •    High potential for abuse
  •    Accepted for specific medical treatment in the country or medical drugs with severe regulations to follow. In short, cocaine has a high potential for abuse with few medical purposes.
  •    Prolonged abuse can lead to chronic psychological or physical dependence.

Drugs classified under Schedule II usually generate addiction and are dangerous. Breaking the regulation under this class of drugs is punishable under the law and would mean longer prison times. In most states and under the law, classification of cocaine enforces severe penalties compare to other non-narcotic drugs.

Cocaine and Narcotics

Narcotics have more broad terms that it includes cocaine under its specifications. Even though cocaine does not belong to these drugs, the government classified cocaine as narcotic because of its detrimental side effects. These drugs act as a downer in the central nervous system or referred to as a ‘downer’. Meanwhile, cocaine is a stimulant and does not fall under this drug classification. Similarly, ‘downers’ particularly opiate affect the brain differently compares to cocaine, as ‘uppers’.

So in summary cocaine is not a narcotic but is labeled as such to impose heavy fines and penalties to those who will break the law.

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Where does Cocaine came from?

The Origin and History of Cocaine

Purified Cocaine comes from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca bush native in South America. Dated back more than 3000 BC, ancient civilization used coca leaves for its properties to:

  •    relieve fatigue
  •    increase energy
  •    lessen hunger
  •    increase the production rate
  •    increase oxygen intake

The above mentioned are the much-needed skills for farm works. Historically, people only chew the leaf to extract cocaine from its leaves. The stimulating effects of cocaine provide the farmers for increased oxygen intake in high altitudes in the Andes Mountains. Over time, the news about the effects of oxygen reaches other lands. With the help of science, they discovered how to maximize the strength and effects of the coca plant.

The white crystalline powder we have come to know was synthesized using chemicals to extract the drug from the coca leaves.  Today, newer methods intensifying the euphoric effects of the drugs are discovered. This created the most powerful and the extremely addictive form of cocaine, known as crack. Countries of Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan grew the coca plant commercially in the past. But the contrary to popular beliefs, the first cocaine cartel was formed in Amsterdam and not in Columbia.

Cocaine Timeline

1860

Albert Nieman first extracted cocaine from the leaves in 1860.

1880

After two decades, the medical community used cocaine as a local anesthesia for surgeries in the eye, ears, and throat. The drug constricts blood vessels and limits bleeding in the affected area.

The 1880s and 1890s

The popularity of cocaine made its way as the main ingredient for various tonics and elixirs packaged as a ‘cure all’ medications. Coca leaves made into teas claiming to relieve stress from a hard day’s work.  

1886

Coca-Cola even chose the drug as the main component in their world famous drink. They marketed the beverage for its energizing effect. The company claimed that the drink can also generate a ‘feeling good’ or the euphoric feeling associated with the drug. John Pemberton introduces the drink containing cola syrup, caffeine, sugar and of course cocaine. Many patented medications in the United States contain the addictive drug.

In 1890 a German chemist named Eduard Ritsert first synthesized benzocaine. The white powder contains the same anesthetic effect of cocaine as the first over-the-counter medicine.

1910

Giant pharmaceuticals like Sandoz, Merck, and Hoffman-LaRoche founded the Cocaine Manufacturers Syndicate. Currently, the clandestine laboratories in South America make the drug.

1920

However, along with the rise its popularity, the dangerous side effects of cocaine emerge and eventually push authorities to ban cocaine and remove it from all products.

The government passed legislation, the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 to prohibit any use, marketing, and production of cocaine, except for medical purposes.

1930s

Recreational use of cocaine went unnoticed because of the discovery of amphetamines during the 1930s.  Pharmaceutical companies marketed amphetamines but the public misuse its purpose. The government then put strict guidelines under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the made its production limited.

During this time, cocaine abuse started rising, along with the discovery of crack cocaine, it ranks as the most abused drug.  But in Netherlands, cocaine was still sold as a legal drug under the Dutch Cocaine Factory.

A Peruvian doctor named Carlos Gutierrez Noriega published a scientific report about the harmful effects of chewing coca. However, a few decades after it was published, Burchard discredited the report in 1992.

The 1970s to 1980s

Since, no concrete evidence reported about the harmful effects of cocaine, countries all over the world was torn apart on how to manage cocaine use. Some classified it as a legal drug while most labeled it under controlled substances.  

In 1987, Lima supported the traditional use of cocaine. But in Bolivia, they put it under controlled substances. Two years later, Argentina followed the footsteps of Lima and allowed the chewing of the coca leaves and permitted drinking it as a tea. In the US, the first debate happened to legally classified cocaine as a narcotic.

1980s

Millions of American fall prey in the introduction of ‘decocainised’ coca tea from South America. Peru made its own legitimate cultivation of coca. The National Enterprise of Coca, a government arm controlled the production and licensed in the drug export. To market and expand the use of coca, the agency even promotes the benefits of the plant in its traditional use.

Since the 80s, cocaine became the major source of income for most poor South American countries. The region exported around 1000 tons of refined cocaine for the year 2000 alone.

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How Cocaine is Made | Okeechobee

Cocaine tops the list as the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States, after marijuana and heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Overdose from cocaine consists of about 10% of the total admission in public-funded abuse treatment programs.

However, in a study which the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime conducted, cocaine is one of the most expensive illegal drugs in the black market. In a 2015 Global Drug Survey, a gram of cocaine cost about 80 USD. This will make you wonder what cocaine is made of and how it is made to yield this kind of amount in the market. Before delving yourself in this kind of information, you must first know what cocaine is.

Cocaine

Cocaine is primarily made of extract from coca leaves, native to South America. But it can also contain several ingredients like cornstarch, talcum powder, powdered milk and other substances once it is diluted or “cut.” This drug can over stimulate the central nervous system and contains anesthetic properties.  For hundreds of years, South American people use the coca leaves whenever they need an energy boost. The cocaine plant is relatively harmless but once chemically synthesized it can produce short- and long-term dangerous effects.  Street names of cocaine include Crack, Rock, Coke, Snow, Candy, Blow, Flake and Charlie.

How is Cocaine Made?

After marijuana, cocaine is the most widespread drug in the US but few people understand where it comes from.

To make just a kilo of cocaine, coca farmers need to hand pick 1,000 kilos of coca leaves. After harvesting the leaves, they laid it out under the sun. Famers will let the leaves dry in the sun for about half to full day. The leaves will somewhat dry out and ready for the next step. There are two ways to extract cocaine from the basic coca leaf plant, using solvents or using acid-based chemicals.

Cocaine extraction using solvents

Once the leaves are dried out, it is finely chopped and dusted with lime or carbonate salt along with a small amount of water. Some manufacturers will use a weed-whacker to complete this process. Some people may just do it by hand. After the leaves have been cut, makers will sprinkle a small amount of cement powder.  Then ammonia and lime are added to the leaves. Next, they will spray diesel or kerosene over the leaves and strongly stirred up for three days. The process will remove the cocaine from the leaves and into the liquid mixture. The makers may use a washing machine or cement mixer while some poor manufacturers will just do it by hand.

The ingredients will help separate cocaine from the leaves.  Manufacturers will heat the liquid to eliminate any wax from the coca leaves. The mixture will then be filtered to separate cocaine from the leafy concoctions.  Initially, the mixture will look like a large amount of liquid mixture. Makers will then add sulfuric acid and re-mix it again. This will transform the cocaine free base to cocaine sulfate.

Manufacturers or makers will let the mixture sit for some time. During this process, cocaine sulfate will separate from the mixture. After the separation process, makers will then add lime or caustic soda. This will neutralize the sulfuric acid; the by-product of the chemical is a sticky yellow solid mixture. Again, this paste is dried then package and shipped to another location for additional handling and extraction.

Cocaine paste extraction using acid

Another procedure to make cocaine is using acid-based chemicals to extract the drug.  Makers pour the leaves of the coca plant in a container with dilutes sulfuric acid. Makers need to work exuberantly to soften the mixture which usually lasts for about 2 hours. The acid in the container will transform the leaves to cocaine sulfate. To remove unnecessary waxy deposit, makers will drain the chemical and then heated. The rest of the mixture will undergo filtration process to remove any remaining plant residues.

Lime or carbonated chemicals are added to the mixture, makers stirred the ingredients vigorously. The result of the concoction is called coca paste. Makers will then add kerosene and re-filter the concoction for further sulfuric acid treatment.

From ‘paste’ to Street Cocaine

After the coca extraction process, it needs further processing to change the mixture from chemical concoction to an ingestible substance. The mixture will undergo purification process, in which it is dissolved in a small amount of diluted sulfuric acid. Next, an exact measurement of potassium permanganate is added to the mixture. As a potent oxidizing agent, it removes the impurities in the coca paste. It even changes the color of the paste from a brown-yellowish color to an almost translucent white color.  The translucent, acidic solution by-product is then filtered and treated with the chemical ammonia to neutralize the acid.

Before it reaches the black market, the ‘raw’ cocaine is further dried to transform it into cocaine hydrochloride. The final result is the street product that circulated the black market with crystal-like properties that produce a numbing effect.

In order for the users to inject cocaine, it must be water soluble. If not, the drug will just form in clumps and can lead to cardiac arrest. As a salt, users can both inject and snort cocaine which the body can easily absorb.

Changing Cocaine to Crack Cocaine

Considered as the most powerful form of cocaine, crack cocaine produces a very powerful high. With regular abuse, it is often associated with intense energy, hyperactivity, aggression, and even paranoia. Most people convert hydrochloride into a solid substance of freebase cocaine. To produced crack cocaine, makers will add sodium bicarbonate or ammonia. In this form, users commonly heat the drug and smoke it using glass pipe and inhaling the smoke or vapor.

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Definition of Cocaine

Cocaine is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as a smoke, or as a solution injected into a vein.

Historically speaking cocaine is being used as a topical anesthetic in eye and nasal surgery. Also as a result of improper use of the drug it can cause major health problems. Because of the vasoconstrictor activity, it can lead to cardiovascular toxicity.

To control misuse of cocaine, the medical community replaced the drug. They now use synthetic local anesthetics, such as:

  • benzocaine
  • proparacaine
  • lidocaine
  • tetracaine

Apparently, it remains available for use if specified or prescribed by an authorized person.

Cocaine contains properties known to reduce bleeding. If physicians need vasoconstriction effect for medical purposes they combined the drug with phenylephrine or epinephrine.

For medical purposes, topical cocaine can be used as a local numbing agent to help with painful procedures in the mouth or nose.

Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. The duration of its effects can last from fifteen or thirty minutes to an hour. Its effects depend on the amount taken and the route of administration. Cocaine can be seen in the form of fine white powder, bitter to the taste. When inhaled or injected in a person body, it can cause a numbing effect on the body.

Cocaine also increases alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality of the person that intakes it. It has stimulant effects that are similar to that of amphetamine, however, these effects tend to be much shorter lasting and more prominent.

Drug injection is by turning the drug or the cocaine into a solution that provides the highest blood levels of the drug in the shortest amount of time. Subjective effects not commonly shared with other methods of administration may include a ringing in the ears moments after injection usually when in excess of 120 milligrams that is lasting 2 to 5 minutes including tinnitus and audio distortion. This is colloquially referred to as a “bell ringer”. It is said that the average time taken to reach peak subjective effects was 3.1 minutes in taking the drug.

An injected mixture of cocaine and heroin, known as “speedball” is a particularly one of the most dangerous combination, as the converse effects of the drugs actually complement each other, but may also mask the symptoms of an overdose. It has been responsible for numerous deaths.

Cocaine’s Adverse effects

Acute

With the excessive or prolonged use of the drug it can cause

  • itching
  • fast heart rate
  • hallucinations
  • paranoid delusions.

Overdoses may lead to the following effects:

  • hyperthermia
  • marked elevation of blood pressure,
  • arrhythmias
  • death

Same as with these effects:

  • anxiety
  • death
  • paranoia
  • restlessness can also occur, especially during the comedown.
  • With excessive dosage, tremors, convulsions and increased body temperature are observed.

Long term abuse of cocaine can provide detrimental physical and mental side effects.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

  • Recognizing an addiction is the first step to losing it.
  • Depending on the nature of the abuse of the drug, some patients who are seeking help will be advised to attend a residential rehabilitation program, or much better a structured day program.
  • Medications can treat the symptoms related to cocaine withdrawal, subsequently, there is no substitute or alternative drug that can effectively and efficiently help a patient recover from a cocaine dependency.
  • Individuals who will stop using the drug will have powerful cravings that can last for years.
  • Preferably counseling, social support, and some specialist medications may help.

In a study, it shows that 70 percent of people who decided to undergo treatment for powder cocaine problems are either to stop completely or significantly reduce their consumption. Users can stay drug-free not longer than 6 months.

Anyone who is concerned about cocaine use should see a doctor or can look for a local support group that can motivate them for beating or stops the drug addiction. By the help of these motivational groups and Detox of South Florida, it can adversely turn the addiction to a meaningful way of living.

There are two possible ways you can detox cocaine depending on the time frame of usage of the drug:

1 – Natural Way: This is done by drinking plenty of fluids that allows your system to naturally cleanse. This type of process will usually take longer.

2 – Detoxifying products: These are products that are usually in the form of drinks, powders, and pills. They can speed up the process of detoxification process or at least allow you to test clean of any drugs for a short period of time.

 

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