Cocaine Addiction Information
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cocaineCocaine is the drug that Tony Montana put on the map. The white, usually powdered drug is associated with cartels, Colombia, American Psycho and Eric Clapton, and it reached its peak popularity in the mid 1980’s. It’s currently losing popularity as a drug, but does it matter? Is the decline significant?

The History of Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug with a much older history than most other drugs, especially any manufactured drugs. Some Native American tribes would chew on coca leaves for a pick-me-up while other tribes would brew the dried leaves or tea. The effects were more similar to caffeine than modern day cocaine, however. Germans in the mid 1800’s started extracting chemicals out of the coca leaves to make an anesthetic and soon found out about the psychoactive effects of the drug. Cocaine started to be used as a sort of cure-all drug and was even used in morphine addiction treatment.

Coca-Cola may or may not have originally used the coca leaves around 1886, but in the early 1900’s, cocaine got itss first major recognition as a harmful drug. The Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 made cocaine an afterthought for the next 50 years. Cocaine became a popular recreational drug in the 60’s and 70’s until the production of cocaine lowered costs in the 80’s, whereupon cocaine became a national epidemic in America.

The State of the Drug

Since the 80’s, cocaine continued to be a problem, but it lost some of its popularity in the media. Still, cocaine continues to be a threat to society. Cocaine usage has continued through the new millennium with an estimated 361,000 new users in 2000 alone. Currently, around 24 million people have tried cocaine in their lifetime. Cocaine is the third most readily available in college behind marijuana and amphetamines, and 1.5 million Americans have used cocaine at least once a month. The United States is the biggest importer of the drug in the world.

The Nature of the Decline

Over the past ten years, however, spending on cocaine has been in decline with about $45 billion spent on cocaine in 2002 and roughly $28 billion spent on cocaine in 2010. While this could be explained away as price reductions taking place, it’s actually figured that prices rose over that time period. Furthermore, the number of cocaine users of age 12 have fallen 44% since 2006. The main link behind the spending decline is a dramatic drop in supply, while the usage decline is said to be in part because it’s just not cool.

Colombia’s Ties to the Reduction

Much of the credit for the reduction of cocaine in America must be given to the authorities in Colombia. While 80%-90% of cocaine production stems from Colombia, authorities have fought against production and imprisoned drug lords. Production of cocaine minus seizures has gone down from 605 metric tons in 2000 to 189 metric tons in 2011. Colombia has spent billions of dollars in an effort to emphasize cocaine seizures as well as disabling cartel infrastructure and destroying coca crops.

Signs of Cocaine Abuse

If you’re worried about cocaine use in those around you, look for signs of nose and throat problems. Cocaine users might develop a loss of smell, nosebleeds, hoarseness or difficulty swallowing. These ailments usually occur when cocaine is snorted. If someone is taking cocaine intravenously, addicts might also develop skin infections, have noticeable needle marks or contract HIV. Anyone dependant upon cocaine might have heart problems over time, strokes, respiratory problems and more.

References: – Drop in US Cocaine Use Due to Waning Popularity – – Cocaine Like Coca-Cola – – History of Cocaine Use in the United States –