Cocaine: Cocaine and Powder Cocaine Hydrochloride Essay

Submitted By nyasialashay
Words: 1459
Pages: 6

Cocaine In the United States cocaine has experienced the largest epidemic in history. Cocaine is an addictive drug that directly and powerfully affects the brain. Cocaine is a purified extract from the leaves of an Erythroxylon coca bush. Cocaine is classified as a high priced way of getting high. Cocaine has powerful negative effects on the heart, brain, and emotions. Many cocaine users fall prey to addiction, with long-term and life threatening consequences. Even occasional users run the risk of sudden death with cocaine use. This paper will discuss the primary source of cocaine, addiction, what the drug is, and how you can recover from using the drug. Exrythroxylon Coca leaves are the primary source of Cocaine. The coca leaves are harvested two or four time per year and used to form a coca paste. The coca paste contains 80% of cocaine. The paste is processed in laboratories to form a white hydrochloride salt power. Purified cocaine is often diluted with arsenic, lidocaine, and methamphetamine. They often dilute the drug before sold on the streets. The cocaine is often sold in the form of a rock, like flakes, and powder. Cocaine has chemical processes produce the two main forms of the drug. First we have a powdered cocaine, which is known on the street as "coke" or "blow". This form dissolves in water. Users can snort or inject powdered cocaine. Next is crack cocaine and is commonly known on the street as "crack" or "rock". The crack rock is made by a chemical process that leaves it in its "freebase" form, which can be smoked. (“What Are the Short-term Effects of Cocaine Use?”) There are many reasons why a person can be addicted to Cocaine. Once a person first uses cocaine they say it was just a try. The second time the user uses it for their psychiatric disorders, for things like depression, attention disorders, and anxiety. Cocaine can be injected, smoked, or absorbed by the nasal tissues which is called “snorting”. If your take it orally the drug is most likely to destroy your gut or liver before reaching the brain. “Snorting” is one of the fastest ways to get your high. While snorting 100 milligrams of cocaine passes through the tissues into the blood stream. With injection users experience a state of euphoria, the high is intense but last up to 15 to 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes the user is heading for a crash. In order to avoid the crash the user takes a hit every 10 to 30 minutes. Either method you use cocaine quickly enters the blood stream and travels to the brain. There are many different ways to use the drug such as binge activity and freebasing. Binge users can be away from the drug for several days. They binge one to several times a week, with each binge lasting 4 to 24 hours. Freebasing method is a method that produces cocaine to be much more powerful than normal cocaine. Freebasing you heat the cocaine to produce vapors to inhale, you mix the cocaine with baking soda and water heated to form crystals which the user smokes or inhales. (“Drugs and Society”) Crack Cocaine is a freebased and is known as “crack” or “rock” on the streets. Crack is made by taking the powder cocaine hydrochloride and adding sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water. The crack is then dried into hard little rocks that contains 90% of pure cocaine. This crack is generally smoked in a glass water pipe, which reacts in 8 to 10 seconds. This gives the user an intense high and intense crash. The high generally last only 4 to 6 minutes and the crash last from 20 to 40 minutes or longer. Deep in the brain, cocaine interferes with the chemical messengers, neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are nerves use to communicate with each other. Cocaine blocks norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters from being reabsorbed. The resulting chemical buildup between nerves causes euphoria or feeling "high." Crack is mostly used among African Americans and Hispanics than white Americans. Which draws attention to women