Cocaine

* Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Cocaine (C17H21NO4)is an alkaloid prepared from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca plant, which grows mainly in South Africa, and the Far East. Cocaine hydrochloride is prepared by dissolving the alkaloid in hydrochloric acid, forming a water soluble salt. It is sold illicitly as a white powder, or as crystals or granules. Cocaine is not a new drug. Cocaine abuse has a long history.

* Cocaine’s effects appear almost immediately after a single dose, and disappear within hours. Taking in small amounts (up to 100mg), cocaine usually makes the user feel energetic, talkative, and mentally alert, sensation of the sight, sound, and touch. It is also decrease the need for food and sleep. Some users find that the drug helps them perform simple physical and intellectual tasks more quickly, while others experience the opposite effect. The effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Some users of cocaine report feeling of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly. Cocaine related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest seizures followed by respiratory arrest.

* Control over wholesale cocaine distribution by Mexican DTOs and criminal groups have increasing for several years. Cocaine abuse and addiction are problems that plague our nation. We now know more about where and how cocaine acts in the brain, including how the drug produces its pleasurable effects and why it is so addictive. In order to help the public better understand drug abuse and addiction, and to develop more effective strategies for their prevention and treatment. We hope that this compilation of scientific information on cocaine will help to inform everyone about the harmful effects of cocaine abuse, and that it will assist in prevention and treatment efforts.

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