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Cocaine is an especially addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Cocaine has been known as the drug of the eighties and nineties for its nice quality and widespread use in those decades. However, it is not a new drug. Actually, cocaine is one of the drugs that has been known for a longer time. Coca leaves, from that hard drug, is obtained, are eaten for thousands of years, whereas the pure chemical, hard drug coordination compound, has been consumed for quite a hundred years. In the early twentieth century, for example, purified cocaine became the basic active principle that was used in most of the tonics and elixirs created to treat a wide variety of diseases.


Pure cocaine was originally extracted from the leaf of the coca bush of the genus Erythroxylum, which grew mainly in Peru and Bolivia. In the 1990s, and after several efforts to reduce cultivation in those countries, Colombia became the country with the highest coca cultivation. Today, cocaine is a drug classified under Schedule II (“Schedule II”) of the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it is considered to have great potential for abuse, but can be administered by a doctor. for legitimate medical uses, for example, as local anesthesia in certain types of eye, ear and throat surgeries.


Cocaine is usually sold on the street in the form of a white, fine and crystalline powder that is known in Spanish as “coca”, “snow”, “white lady” or “talc”. In English some of their names are “coke”, “C”, “flake”, “snow” and “blow”. Traffickers generally mix cocaine with other inert substances, such as cornstarch, talc or sugar; or with certain active drugs such as procaine (a local anesthetic of similar chemical composition) or other stimulants, such as amphetamines. Some consumers combine cocaine with heroin in what they usually call a “speedball” (in Spanish it is also known as “scrambled”, “rebujito”, “French” or “coffee with milk”).


There are two chemical forms of cocaine that are usually consumed: the hydrochloride salt (which is soluble in water) and the crystals of cocaine or base, known in English as “freebase” (which are not soluble in water). The hydrochloride salt, or the powdered form of cocaine, is consumed injected or inhaled (“snorting”). The crystals of cocaine or freebase have been processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate and water and then heated to remove the hydrochloride and produce a substance that can be smoked. The term “crack”, the name of the street for crystals or cocaine base, refers to the crunchy sound heard when smoking this mixture.

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