Narcotic Educational Foundation of America
                                                     Drug Abuse Education Provider of the:
                              California Narcotic Officers’ Association

                         THE STORY OF COCAINE
                                                                     QUICK FACTS:
   Cocaine is a natural occurring drug. Cocaine, which is known as a strong central nervous system stimulant, can seriously affect the human body.
   The stimulant drugs speed up certain body functions by creating an artificial state of stimulation. Some of the signs of these body functions are
   increased heart and respiratory rate, elevated blood pressure, and the dilation of the pupils of the eyes. High doses have also caused very rapid
   and/or irregular heart beats, tremors, loss of coordination, stroke, and in some cases death.

   The addictive qualities of cocaine are exerted on those regions of the brain and central nervous system that are responsible for the pleasure
   sensation of “reward”, and the “physical / psychological dependence syndrome.” The brain’s neurochemicals associated with the stimulants are
   classified as those of “fight or flight” and “physical endurance.” These artificial additions account for the abuser’s loss of control. The abuser is
   not consciously taking care of diet or biological needs. Stimulants themselves, as well as the “drug abusing” lifestyle, may be expressed in a
   neurological depression. This neurological depression is usually associated with the “down” side of the drug.

HISTORY OF DRUG                                                   COCAINE ABUSE                           History -      (continued from column 1, this page)
                                                               SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS                         In the late 1800’s cocaine was used for
Cocaine, first isolated in 1844, is one of                                                                treatment of morphine addiction. It was
14 known alkaloids extracted from the                      ♦   Sleeping problems                          also included in many patent medicines
leaves of the evergreen coca plant                         ♦   Runny nose                                 and other products touted as cures for
                                                           ♦   Headaches                                  fatigue, asthma, stomach ailments,
(Erythroxylon coca). Cocaine is the prin-
                                                           ♦   Nasal Sores                                “woman’s illnesses”, and inflammations.
cipal active ingredient of the South
                                                           ♦   Lowered Appetite                           Patent-medicine quacks peddled it from
American coca plant. The chemical name
                                                           ♦   Decreased sexual drive                     brightly painted wagons. One of the most
for cocaine is benzoylmethyl ecognine
                                                           ♦   Problems with relationships at
(C17H21NO4). It is best described as a                                                                    popular forms was a concoction of John
                                                               home, school and work                      Pemberton, a pharmacist, containing kola
bitter, white, odorless, crystalline drug
                                                           ♦   Financial difficulties
that, in powder form, is somewhat similar                                                                 nut and cocaine - “Coca-Cola.” In 1906
                                                           ♦   Depressed
in appearance to “snow.”                                                                                  the Coca-Cola Company had switched to
                                                           ♦   Irritable
                                                                                                          decocanized coca leaves instead of co-
                                                           ♦   Fatigued
Cocaine, as a drug, is classified as a                                                                    caine. In the early 1900’s the addictive
                                                           ♦   Redness of skin from itching
central nervous system stimulant How-                      ♦   Dilated pupils                             and psychosis-producing nature of co-
ever, pharmacologically, cocaine is clas-                  ♦   Tremors                                    caine was apparent. The Harrison Act of
sified as a local anesthetic which can                     ♦   Nausea                                     1914 restricted cocaine to doctor’s pre-
cause anesthesia at the point of injection                 ♦   Talkative                                  scriptions and imposed fines and impris-
or application. As a vaso-constrictor it                   ♦   Fever                                      onment for illegal sale or distribution.
will close small capillary bleeding. This                  ♦   Rapid heart beat
is the basis of its prescription usage.                    ♦   Paraphernalia:                             Cocaine hydrochloride (powder), avail-
                                                                  small spoons                            able on the street at 30 to 40 percent
Chewing leaves of the coca plant gave                             small mirrors                           purity, became the most common coca
                                                                  small vials
the native Indians energy to withstand the                        razor blades
                                                                                                          product in the United States until the
long grueling hours needed to cultivate                           straws                                  1980’s when rock and crack style cocaine
their rocky, unproductive terrain. Chew-                                                                  usage became prevalent. Because co-
ing the leaves also helped offset the cold                                                                caine hydrochloride will decompose if
temperature of the mountains by raising                                                                   smoked as a powder, it must be converted
body heat and constricting surface blood                                                                  into a relatively pure base state before it
vessels to hold onto the increased body                                                                   is suitable for smoking. When in the
heat. The coca leaves chewed by the                                                                       smoking form, the “high” is more intense
Indians were sometimes sprinkled with                                                                     and has a more immediate onset. Base is
alkaline ash to increase the absorption of                                                                either made the traditional way by using
oral cocaine.                                                                                             volatile chemicals (free-base), or by the
                                                                                                          heating and cooling method using baking
                                                                                                          soda (crack or rock).
                         (continued column 3, this page)
                                                                COCAINE POWDER
        COCAINE                            PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
                                           •   Dependent users CANNOT STOP
Cocaine use, though dose related,          •   Cocaine blocks brain chemicals that
causes the eyes to dilate and the heart        tell the body to produce dopamine
and blood pressure to increase. It             and relax after stimulation.
contributes to a rise in body tempera-     •   Euphoria fades
ture and metabolic rate. It can en-
hance muscular strength that has de-                    EXPERIENCES
creased due to fatigue. It decreases                                                                 COKE KIT
the appetite to the degree that emaci-     •   User has nagging depression
ation can develop among chronic            •   Extreme paranoia                               FORMS OF COCAINE
dosage users.                              •   Compulsive behavior                             POWDER OR BASE
                                           •   Hallucinations
Cocaine use initially offers pleasant      •   Erratic and irrational ideas               Cocaine can be found in two forms.
feelings for many, creating the illu-                                                     Cocaine hydrochloride is a crys-
sion of well being to the limits of that                                                  talline powder form. In this form the
euphoric effect. Feelings of confi-                        CRAVING                        cocaine is water soluble, thus when
dence, exhilaration, and talkativeness     Craving is defined as the daily symptom        “snorted” through the nose it is ab-
develop. These sensations entice the       of the disease. The user experiences           sorbed through the membranes of the
novice to repeat the intoxication.         intense psychological preoccupation with       nose.
Feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and     getting and using the drug. It is a com-
irritability follow the “high”as use       mon phenomenon during the abuse of             Cocaine base is in the “paste,”
becomes regular, thus prompting ad-        cocaine and is especially intense during       “rock”, or “crack” form. It is not
ditional dosage to overcome this dis-      the first 6 months after stopping its use.     water soluble in this form. This form
comfort.                                                                                  enables a person to smoke the co-
                                           Inpatients who have completed treatment
                                                                                          caine. Cocaine can be smoked either
Cocaine use can cause one to experi-       and are continuing to participate in Nar-
                                                                                          by basing it or by mixing the paste
ence illusions of power, following or      cotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anony-
                                                                                          into a cigarette. Base form of cocaine
                                           mous on a regular basis, receive reassur-
mixed with unshakable feelings of                                                         doesn't burn so it must be sprinkled
                                           ance that the overwhelming cocaine crav-
fear. This may proceed to delusions                                                       on a cigarette or consumed in a pipe
                                           ing they experience is not abnormal and
of paranoia and hallucinations. Suf-                                                      designed for this purpose. These base
                                           that it will lessen with time, though proba-
fering from such misconceptions,                                                          pipes consist of a bowl with multi-
                                           bly will never completely disappear.
many users have “fought back”, in-                                                        layer screens. A flame is applied to
flicting injury or death upon innocent                                                    the bowl, vaporizing the drug as it
victims.                                                   PARANOIA                       melts and drips from screen to
                                           Paranoia is quite common during cocaine        screen.
Cocaine produces a degree of physi-        abuse and during the initial period of
cal and mental deterioration not           abstinence. The person will suddenly           Cocaine base enters the bloodstream
found in connection with the use of        develop an intense paranoid state without      through the lungs and the high is felt
opiates.                                   provocation. This will lessen with the         immediately, before the smoke is ex-
                                           passage of time and will not respond to        haled. The euphoria lasts for only a
                                           the use of anti-depressants.                   few minutes and the primary kick
                                                                                          from the base cocaine is the instanta-
           ADDICTION                                                                      neous and intense rush. So strong is
                                                                                          the brief high that repetitive and ex-
The physical dependency part of ad-                                                       cessive usage is common. Compul-
diction caused by drug use is rela-                                                       sive consumption of this expensive
tively easy to overcome. It is rou-                                                       drug is far greater than among the
tinely treated successfully, regardless                                                   cocaine snorting contingent. Over-
of the severity of the symptoms. The                                                      dosing is a greater risk with base
psychological part of addiction is not                                                    because of the increased purity, effi-
as easy to overcome or is it regularly                                                    cient route of administration, and the
treated with assured success. The                                                         compulsive desire to re-experience
overcoming of this part of addiction                                                      the ultra short rush.
may be a life time effort.
                                                                                          Making crack or rock is as easy as
                                                                                          adding baking soda and water to co-
                                                  COKE SMOKING PIPE                       caine HCl. The mixture is heated and
                                                                                                            (continued on page 3, colume 1)
                                                                                “SPEEDBALL”                                                         ATTRACTION TO
Powder-Base - (continued from pag 2)e                                                                                                                DESTRUCTION
cooled. If heated to liquid and super                          Cocaine use causes a “hangover”, depres-
cooled, it turns to rock. If cooked and                        sion, and agitation. Abusers may resort to                                Cocaine acts directly upon the brain
mixed with flour and yeast or Seven Up                         addition of a sedative drug to alleviate                                  where chemical centers of pleasure
you have crack. The low price per dose                         these symptoms. A cocaine-heroin mixture                                  are located. When we are pleased, like
attracts buyers, while giving the dealer                       has gained some notoriety because of this                                 “being praised,” a signal in the brain
a substantial profit.                                          issue. This phenomena is called                                           stimulates these same nerve cells.
                                                               “speedballing.” Cocaine euphoria is of                                    That cue is transmitted by the neuro-
                                                               short duration. Abusers take it frequently                                transmitter dopamine, a chemical
    SEIZURES AND SUDDEN                                        to sustain intoxication. A toxic condition                                messenger that carries information
                                                               develops. Stimulating effects decrease as                                 from nerve cell to nerve cell. Nor-
                                                               tolerance develops, resulting in increased                                mally, dopamine completes its service
Cocaine constricts the blood vessels,                          doses. Overdose depresses heart function                                  and is retrieved by the sending cell to
including those in the heart. This makes                       and breathing ability. Such users suffer                                  await the next signal. Cocaine dis-
the heart pump harder and faster to                            insomnia, cramps, nausea, and even con-                                   rupts this recovery process and per-
circulate blood throughout the body.                           vulsions. Cerebral hemorrhage may result.                                 mits a constant release of dopamine,
This stress has caused chest pains and                         Acute cocaine poisoning causes death. A                                   resulting in an over abundance of
heart attacks for many users. Cocaine                          crude street phrase to describe it - “the                                 dopamine acting upon the receiving
can interfere with the electrical im-                          user’s brain runs out of his nose.”                                       cells. Repeated assaults, or ingestion
pulses that control the heart’s pumping                                                                                                  of the drug, depletes the supply of
action, resulting in irregular beating                                                                                                   dopamine, resulting in a “crash.”
and even stoppage. The U. S. Depart-
ment of Health reports: “Cocaine in all
of its commonly used forms, including
crack, has been associated with sudden
heart attacks in people under the age of                                 CRACK and BASE                                                           COCAINE BABIES -
30, some of whom who had used the                                      How it Affects the Body:                                                     A TRAGEDY
drug for the first time.”                                                                                                               “Cocaine and base have increased the
                                                                 ♦   BRAIN - the biochemical state of                                   chances of drug damaged infants.
                                                                     the brain is altered and an addiction                              Even if the pregnant mother uses co-
                                                                     takes hold faster than with any other
                                                                                                                                        caine only once, its effects on the
                                                                     drug, including heroin. They crave
      INJECTING COCAINE                                                                                                                 fetus can be the same as if she used it
                                                                     more and more cocaine. To allay
                                                                                                                                        many times, so warns the U. S. Drug
                                                                     discomfort the user will often resort
Some users inject the cocaine directly                                                                                                  Enforcement Administration (DEA).
                                                                     to another drug, including alcohol.
into their veins similar to that of inject-                          This may establish a secondary ad-                                 DEA further stated that “Many of
ing heroin. They claim that when inject-                             diction.                                                           these infants begin their lives in an
ing cocaine it is not advisable to heat                          ♦   EYES - pupils may dilate, causing                                  agonizing state of withdrawal that can
the water solution since the heat and                                increased sensitivity to light. Users                              last as long as three weeks. There is a
boiling tends to evaporate the cocaine.                              may see “snowlights” or “halos”                                    stiffness associated with cocaine ba-
When injecting cocaine, the rush or                                  which appear around everything.                                    bies, a sign of damaged nerves; irri-
immediate euphoria is felt within sec-                           ♦   HEART - heart rate may increase                                    tability, difficulty in feeding, hyper-
onds and is a very intense feeling. The                              up to fifty percent and sometimes                                  sensitivity to sights and sounds.”
plasma life from injecting cocaine will                              becomes irregular.
last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.                             ♦   LUNGS - heavy crack use can                                        Cocaine babies tune the world out, a
The intravenous route leads to paranoid                              cause hoarseness, bronchitis, and                                  behavior pattern that suggests neuro-
states more often than when equivalent                               other respiratory problems.                                        logical and psychological damage that
amounts are inhaled. Cocaine injection                           ♦   NERVES - when high, the user be-                                   may not show up in its full, tragic,
also carries with it a stronger desire to                            comes stimulated, hyperactive, and                                 impact until the child reaches school
repeat the event.                                                    irritable.                                                         age. There are more obvious disabili-
                                                                 ♦   WEIGHT - users often lose interest                                 ties such as stunted livers, kidneys,
                                                                     in eating and sleeping. Many suffer                                lungs, and brains. Respiratory prob-
                                                                     drastic weight loss.                                               lems, severe difficulties with motor
                                                                                                                                        skills, physical deformities, and
                                                                                                                                        paralysis, often plague these infants as

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