By now it’s safe to say that everyone has heard Eric Clapton’s version of the song, “Cocaine”. It’s got a great melody that is easy to dance to or sway back and forth with at least. The words are pretty simple, but if you listen long enough you can get the chorus stuck in your head pretty easy and before you know it, you’ll start singing out loud. “Cocaine”. However just because it’s a good song doesn’t mean Cocaine is a goo “thing”. Somewhat like good music, Cocaine can take control of your mind and body causing you to do things you never thought possible.
Cocaine is a drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca plant. It is a strong stimulant that affects the body’s central nervous system. You may have heard it referred to as Coke, Dust, Toot, Line, Nose Candy, Snow, Sneeze, Powder, Girl, White Pony, Flake, C, The Lady, Cain, Neurocain, Rock, or Crack. Cocaine is commonly consumed by being snorted up the nose or mixed with water and injected into the system via a syringe. Cocaine can also be made into small white rocks called Crack; a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that is derived by dissolving powdered cocaine in water mixed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The mixture is boiled until a solid substance forms. It is removed from the liquid, dried, and then broken into the chunks that are sold as Crack Cocaine.
Cocaine, itself, has a very intriguing history since having been used for everything from combating fatigue and addictions to recreational drinking. In fact, early uses of Cocaine were recorded by Spanish explorers in the mid-1500’s after observing the native people of South American chewing on coca leaves to fight off fatigue. The natives also brewed the coca leaves into a tea along with burning / smoking various parts of the coca plant as part of their religious and medicinal practices. By the time 1860 rolled around, German chemist Albert Neiman had figured out how to isolate Cocaine from the coca leaf and documented the anesthetic action of the drug when it was put on his tongue. Angel Mariani produced a “medicinal” wine, called Vin Mariani in the early 1880’s, which contained 11% alcohol and 6.5 mg of Cocaine per ounce. The famous psychotherapist, Sigmund Freud, recommended Cocaine for a variety of illnesses including for alcohol and morphine addictions which caused many of his patients to become addicted. In 1886, John Pemberton developed a drink called Coca-Cola, which contained Cocaine and caffeine. However, Cocaine was removed from Coca Cola in 1906. By 1914, the Harrison Narcotic Act made Cocaine illegal. Finally, in 1985 Crack Cocaine was introduced and rapidly became a major drug problem.
No matter how Cocaine is taken, it’s still a potent and dangerous drug. On top of that, there’s an increased risk for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis from sharing needles or having sex. Cocaine is more dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol. Cardiac Arrest or Seizures followed by Respiratory failure is equal in both short and long term abuse. Some of the other side effects of Cocaine include:
- Loss of appetite
- Blurred Vision
- High Anxiety
- Constricted blood vessels
- Nasal infections
- Nose bleeds
- Rapid breathing
- Violent behavior
- Chest pain
So what is the best way to tell if someone has recently take Cocaine? Some of the symptoms include mood swings, quick or jerky movements, dilated pupils, and rapid breathing because Cocaine will actually speed up their entire body. The person may feel full of energy, happy, and excited. But then their mood can change. The person can become angry, nervous and afraid that someone’s out to get them (extreme paranoia). The individual may end up doing things that make no sense to anyone, including themselves. Later when the “high” of Cocaine wears off, they may experience a hard “crash” and feel extremely tired or depressed for days followed by a strong craving to take the drug again to try to feel better. Research has shown that it’s easy to become addicted. Then, even if treatment is given, it can be hard to stay off the drug. People who stopped using Cocaine can still feel strong cravings for the drug years later.
The most important thing to do if you suspect someone of taking Cocaine is to test early before it gets worse. Rapid Detect has a variety of products that can check individuals for recent exposure to Cocaine. Our Rapid Detect Dip Card 5 Panel can Check for Cocaine use along with possible other drug abuse such as Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Opiates, and Marijuana.
It’s not just the person taking Cocaine that is affected; it’s also everyone around that person, including co-workers, family members, and friends. Drug testing could save their life! Don’t be afraid to take the initiative when it comes to this threat, your name, business, and reputation could be on the line. Rapid Detect Incorporated is ready to help with all your drug testing needs.