Cocaine Addiction Information
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cocaineCocaine has been around for at least 800 years, since the days of the Incas in South America. They called it ‘a gift from the gods;’ today many would call it ‘a terrible idea.’ Here are ten random facts about the powerful plant:

1) Cocaine has had a famous advocate in Coca-Cola. In previous versions of the drink, Coca-Cola added about 9 mg of cocaine to each bottle of soda! This was the reason behind the name and the secret behind Coca-Cola’s kick. What some people don’t know is that the company still uses leaves of the coca plant as a flavor additive. (At least they’re using the cocaine-free kind now.)

2) Cocaine causes three times as many deaths as any other illegal drug. However, it is not the most deadly thing out there. Prescription drugs have recently surpassed cocaine to be the leading cause of drug-related deaths.

3) Doctors used to be crazy about cocaine. They thought it was something of a miracle substance and used it as everything from an anesthetic to an anti-depressant, a morphine-addiction cure and an asthma treatment. In a bit of poetic justice, the first doctor to advocate for using cocaine as an anesthetic also became the first doctor to become cocaine-addicted.

4) Cocaine and alcohol together are an unexpectedly dangerous combination. Somewhere between 30% and 60% of cocaine users are mixing it with alcohol, which causes nearly 75% of the cocaine-related deaths in the United States. Why does this happen? Because mixing cocaine and alcohol means that a toxic byproduct (cocaethylene) is produced. Cocaethylene prolongs the effects of drugs in the brain, which causes many fatalities.

5) Only about a third of cocaine-related deaths are actually caused by the drug’s effects on the body. The rest are things like suicide, murder, and car crashes. Because cocaine alters the user’s mental state, it increases the potential for catastrophic events.

6) Men are more likely than women to have a “bad trip” on cocaine. They report more highs, but also more intensely bad feelings than women do.

7) Perhaps surprisingly, there are significant differences between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Crack cocaine is so called because it comes in small rock-shaped pebbles and crackles when it’s heated for smoking. Crack cocaine is cheaper than powder cocaine, because it’s simpler to make. Crack cocaine hasn’t yet been neutralized by the addition of an acid. However, smoking it in crack form means that the cocaine takes effect about twice as quickly. It then produces a much harsher crash as it exits the system as swiftly as it came. Perhaps that’s why only about a third of Americans choose the crack version over the powder version.

8) The average price for a gram of powder cocaine ranges from $80 to $100. The average price for a rock of crack cocaine is $10 to $25.

9) In 2008, the US government seized almost 50,000 kilos of cocaine in drug busts. If it had been sold wholesale, this much cocaine would have been worth $1.5 billion. The lost profits are actually much higher than that, considering that after the wholesale profits were made, the drug would then change hands, likely several more times, with additional profit made at each step.

10) Despite urban legend, it is NOT true that 4 out of 5 dollar bills have been used to snort cocaine. Though one study reported traces of cocaine on 4 out of 5 dollar bills, this does NOT mean that 4 out of 5 bills have been used for snorting cocaine. It’s simply that cocaine powder is made of very fine particles and easily spreads from one bill to the next. In this way, tiny traces of cocaine can easily spread far and wide.