#2 – Cocaine
Cocaine is a powerful short-term stimulant that is extracted as a paste from the South American coca plant. It is the second most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. where nearly over 2 million people are currently using it.
Modern cocaine came about in the 1860s and was legal for decades and used as a medical drug in Europe and America. Coca-Cola actually used cocaine as an ingredient in an early version of its drink and famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud is known to have enjoyed it as a therapeutic medicine! The drug restricted in 1914 and was eventually listed a controlled substance in 1970.
Some Quick Facts About Cocaine
- It is a very fast acting drug that usually manifests as feelings of alertness and confidence, but afterwards can make you feel depressed and run down, sometimes for days
- It is usually snorted or smoked (crack cocaine)
- It is highly addictive and many people have died from cocaine overdoses as high doses can significantly raise the body’s temperature, cause convulsions and heart failure
- Recent UK police seizures of ‘street’ powder cocaine had an average purity of just 32%. A wrap of cocaine powder can be cut with many things, such as sugar or starch, but benzocaine is most common. Benzocaine is a local anaesthetic which can produce a ‘numbing’ effect similar to cocaine, but without the cocaine ‘high’