Cocaine is produced by the coca shrub (Erythroxylum coca) and is nowadays isolated by a chemical extraction process. The major active substance is a methyl ester of benzoylated tropine-carboxylic acid. Crack is the free base of cocaine and is produced by heating cocaine with baking powder.
The coca shrub thrives best in the humid mountainous regions of South America (Peru, Bolivia and Columbia) and the Indonesian islands. The leaves of the coca shrub were already being used by the Incas for religious ceremonies approximately 5000 years ago. The first cocaine wave was observed in Europe at the end of the 19th century. After the war, during the “roaring twenties”, cocaine played an important role in Europe. Since the sixties, cocaine has progressed to become primarily the drug for “successful-people”, intellectuals and artists.
Cocaine is normally sniffed as a powder, or occasionally dissolved in water and injected intravenously. Crack is exclusively smoked.
Cocaine was an ingredient of Coca-Cola until 1903.
The effect lasts 1 to 2 hours; crack is effective for a few minutes.
Detection in Urine:
2 to 4 days.
Potential Dependence and Physical Harm:
Potential physical dependence: MEDIUM (crack: HIGH)
Potential psychic dependence: HIGH
- Its capability of causing dependence makes cocaine one of the most dangerous narcotics known to medicine, alongside morphine and heroin.
- Crack is extremely dangerous with regard to causing dependence and plays an important role in the impoverishment and personal neglect of drug addicts. After the intoxication has worn off , a period of severe depression follows which is usually compensated with a further intake of the drug.
- Even a single dose of cocaine can lead to severe psychic dependence.
- Cocaine causes an increase in body temperature, heart rate and muscular activity, and leads to vasoconstriction and increased blood sugar.
- Cocaine stimulates drive and increases aggressiveness. The vasoconstrictive effect of cocaine has been observed to cause cardiac dysryhthmia, cardiac infarction, arteriorrhexis, stroke, damage to the cerebral cortex and epileptic attacks.
- Cocaine is a very dangerous narcotic which can cause hallucinations, anxiety tension states, aggressiveness and psychoses.
Not only cocaine and crack, but also all commonly used mixtures can be detected with NARCOTICS DETECTOR.