The world's second leading abused drug is cocaine (right behind marijuana). In the US alone the numbers of cocaine addictions is staggering. Over 34 million people, age 12 to 25, are addicted to cocaine and are regular users.
Cocaine is a naturally occurring product that is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. This plant can be found in the high mountain ranges of Bolivia and Peru. Cocaine cultivation is now widely distributed because of the immense demand for this drug. At last estimate, the illicit cocaine industry continues to pull in a staggering $35 billion dollars a year.
Cocaine has been used, and still is in some limited cases, for its medicative purposes. Cocaine has an anesthetic quality and was frequently used for small surgeries, such as eye surgeries. It can also restrict blood flow in the veins and arteries and is used to treat bloody noses.
Cocaine On The Street
The cocaine that finds itself on the streets is usually a long ways away from what was actually shipped. When sent from South America the drug is around 95% pure, but when it gets into the hands of the dealers it is then diluted and "stepped" on until it is anywhere from 1 to 90% pure.
Contrary to widely held beliefs, it is very easy to become addicted to cocaine. At least 5,000 new people will try cocaine each day and up to 75% of those who try will become addicted. Tests on laboratory animals have proven that cocaine is by far the most addictive drug. Cocaine has very powerful psychological inhibitors that create a sense of need in the body.
Cocaine also has a short lived high which forces the user to continually be looking for the next "high". This departure of the high is, at times, sudden and leads the user into an immediate craving for the drug. This immediate craving is because the body is going into a "crash" because the drug is depleted and the brain needs to experience the improved mood brought on my cocaine use. Cocaine addictions are attributed to this main cause.
Addiction is also fueled by the state of the person using. Good feelings are usually needed during times of great stress or bad news. By using cocaine the person is fulfilling the brain's desire and creating an atmosphere the user can cope with.
Because of the severe problem of addiction with cocaine it is important for people to be aware of some of the signs of cocaine addiction. A person who is abusing cocaine would have symptoms like insomnia, paranoia, hyperactivity, and may grind their teeth frequently.
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