Cocaine, as we know it today, has only been in existence about 160 years. Crack cocaine is even younger, with its age of origin at only 30 years. Though its cultivation is generally confined to South America, the coca plant is probably as old as human history. Before modern implements enabled the extraction of cocaine in 1855, the indigenous people of South America were known to simply chew on the leaves for pleasure and increased stamina during strenuous labor. It was not until the mid 18th century that the rest of the world was introduced to cocaine when the Spanish brought it to Europe for the first time.
Crack cocaine, on the other hand, started as a uniquely American product, the result of numerous variables involving politics, revolutionary activity in South America, and money. Cocaine was being used to fund the revolution and the supply eventually exceeded the demand. A new product was needed that would spur new demand in the United States. That product was crack cocaine.
Crack cocaine is stronger and more addictive than cocaine. It’s purity to filler ratio is significantly higher than cocaine and therefore less is needed to achieve the same effects. Most people were unaware of the potency and often overdosed when they used the same large amounts they were accustomed to. Those who didn’t overdose experienced much stronger addiction to the new version of the drug.
The Evolution of Cocaine Use
From a broad observation, the history of cocaine is characterized by an initial and very lengthy period of organic and practical use for the enhancement of work and life in general. The indigenous people of ancient societies in South America appear to have used the coca plant as an aid in their productive lives. With the advent of newer technologies, global exploration, and political agendas, the plant has been exploited, its properties altered, and the benefits largely removed from general use. Today cocaine is extremely controversial and dangerous, due to its role in active addiction and overdose.
The prolonged abuse of cocaine is extraordinarily damaging to the body and far outweighs any benefit that was originally experienced in the consumption of the coca plant. The prevalence of cocaine and its associated malevolence to our society is not just the result of its addictive nature, but also a result of the socioeconomic conditions in which it was introduced to Western society. It’s usage spread rapidly among the poorer sections of society since it seemed to offer a quick and easy way to cope with the struggles of life. The fact that it was initially inexpensive and easy to afford helped its use spread like wildfire. Soon, however, demand grew to such levels that prices inevitably rose and people would do whatever they had to in order to obtain it. The fact that it is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and thus highly illegal contributes to the high prices fetched on the black market. The result? Increased crime rates, increased incarnation rates, increased addiction, reduced productivity, and lower levels of well being throughout all of society.
Cocaine is a dangerous and highly addictive drug. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to cocaine or crack cocaine, contact one of our addiction specialists for a risk-free consultation.
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