Cause And Effect Of Cocaine

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One of the most detrimental and addictive narcotics in the world today is cocaine. Cocaine dates back as early as 3000 BC. Ancient Incas used the coca leaves to counter the effects of living in thin mountain air. Native Peruvians in the 1500’s chewed the plant strictly for religious ceremonies. Andean Indians are believed to chew the leaves of the coca plant to increase their energy for work while decreasing their hunger and pain. It wasn’t until 1859 when a German chemist Albert Niemann successfully extracted the narcotic from the coca leaf. In the 1880’s, it was freely prescribed by physicians for “maladies as exhaustion, depression, and morphine addiction and was available in many patent medicines” (“Cocaine”), until users and doctors began to realize its dangers and side effects. While it was not fully understood at the time, cocaine has many devastating and lasting effects on the user. Today, cocaine is commonly derived from the coca plant that is most commonly grown in Columbia but also Peru and Bolivia. It is harvested and processed into a “coca paste” which the base of is extracted and turned into the white powder form of cocaine. Once the powder is made it is often mixed with laundry detergent, laxatives, or boric acid to cut down the potency and have more to distribute. Cocaine can be used snorting, smoking, injecting or swallowed. The United States outlawed cocaine in the early 1920’s but it wasn’t until the 1970’s and middle of the 1980’s that cocaine was at

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