What is Cocaine: An informative essay

What is cocaine? Although used in history for a long time, cocaine is a serious drug which can lead to the destruction of the human being. Cocaine has adverse effects on the human health as it destroys the nervous system and the brain. Methods of therapy and prevention have been applied for a long time in the war against cocaine. What is cocaine? It is an essay provided by TUP experts.

Cocaine is a classic drug of antiquity. The coca leaf which grows mostly in South America where it is taken care of by the governments and by drug organizations. The first coca leaf was discovered more than 1,200 years ago. It was known to the South American Indians who could not write, but were able to use hieroglyphic figures to reflect their use of the coca plant. The ancient drawings on the vases in these figures show men with stuffed cheeks and traces of the coca leaf ( Weiss & Mirin, p.254).

It is obvious that the Indians knew what effect the coca leaf could have on man’s mind. However, it is believed that the modern means of using coca in its powder form is a little more than a century old. Cocaine powder or any of its ingredients or derivatives are among the mostly illegal drugs in our times (Weiss & Mirin, p.254).

Areas in which Cocaine grows:

The main areas in which the coca plant grows are the mountain uplands of Latin America, especially Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador (P.255).

The process of manufacturing purely refined cocaine used to be a very difficult task in the past, but not any more with the use of modern laboratory abilities. One hundred kilograms of coca leaves can be turned into one kilogram of purely refined coca. The leaves are mixed with lime, making a raw paste which is then refined in the laboratories spread all over South America (Weiss & Mirin, p.255).

There are two ways to take cocaine in. The first way is to inhale the powder, and this is the most popular way. The second way is to mix it with a liquid to turn it into a solution, and then have it injected directly into the vein. It can also be smoked after it is changed into a flammable compound known as crack and smoke (Weiss & Mirin, p.228).

Cocaine  has many effects on the body. In the first place, it is a stimulant. It increases the energy of the body and boosts self-confidence, making the user feel witty and hyperactive (Sears, P.227). It is considered less fatal and even cheaper than heroine. This makes more attractive to young men and women who want to get tranquillity at any price (Sears, p.227).

Medical effects of cocaine:

The medical effects of cocaine on the human brain have for long amazed scientists. Cocaine irritates the brain by altering its chemistry in several important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Dopamine is responsible for the basic emotions such as hunger, lust, love and hate. Norenpinephrine regulates emotional responses to the environment, and serotonin is responsible for feelings of well-being, arousal, mood and aggression. When the individual takes in cocaine, these systems become overloaded and the nervous system is no longer able to control cocaine (Graysen, p1). The use of cocaine might lead to small brain hemorrhages and brain impairment might result. Both behavior and thinking are also influenced since they are controlled by these system which are being overloaded by cocaine.

The nervous system is aroused upon the use of cocaine. However, these arousals last for a few minutes, and then the body collapses, then another cycle of arousal comes up, and collapse returns. Arousal can be anything reflected in behavior, particularly violence or sexual behavior (Graysen, p.1). Problems start after the influence of cocaine is gone. The problems of the individual start to come back, in an enlarged form this time. The ability to reason and deal with frustration disappears, and severe reactions result. If the person is unhappy, he turns to the suicidal mood, and if he is angry, he becomes violent. These destructive changes in the chemistry of the brain because of the use of cocaine may take up to three years to be reversed and overcome (Graysen, p.2).

Curing an individual who has been taking cocaine is not an easy task at all. The therapy of stabilizing involves taking in medication. For example, mood stabilizers such as lithium enable the nervous system to calm the extreme cases of aggression and violence in the patient to normal levels. Antidepressants are also used to control the intense trend towards suicide and depression. However, it might be quite a long time before these medication become effective (Graysen, p.2).

The fact that cocaine is destructive to the human behavior and character as well as the body, makes it a necessity to involve psychotherapy in treating the victims of cocaine. The best recommended method for a patient is to attend sessions such as Cocaine Anonymous one or twice a day. The patient learns how to deal with others, how to involve in a human relationship, interact with the environment, confront difficulties and process his emotions. On one hand, the medical therapy will put an end to the unstable chemistry of his brain, and on the second, the psychotherapy will enable him to adjust his behavior to the chemical adjustment in his brain (Graysen, p.2).

Prevention methods:

Various methods of prevention have been applied against drugs in general, and cocaine in particular. The most influential method of prevention is awareness. The creation of awareness among the public, especially among the youth is not easy, especially when dealing with a depressed and frustrated youth seeking tranquillity and happiness in any way. The problem is that this happiness is very short-lived, and the youth do not care as long as they get it. They only care once they have discovered the destructive consequences, which can be too late sometimes (Rosenbloom, p.13).

The other means of prevention is through severe legal restriction. This has paid off in some cases, but in most countries, especially the US, cocaine is smuggled from Latin America by highly organized and powerful organizations which distribute it to the youth. Legal prevention involves increasing the penalties of cocaine dealers, and in some countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, a cocaine dealer might be sentenced to death for selling drugs.

The most important factor which makes a method of prevention successful or not is the environment. Awareness is not enough if the depression among the youth is too high. As long as they are frustrated, young people tend to choose illogical means to overcome their depression. Therefore, trying to release the depression of the youth might support the awareness plans used by the governments and school (Rosenbloom, p.16).

Finally, the parents also play a very important role in the prevention of cocaine use by their children. Houses in which parents are more interactive and collaborative with their children are witnessed to be low risk homes, whereas high risk youth are more found in houses where isolation, violence and angry relations exist among the family members (Rosenbloom, p.16).

Since cocaine is used to make the individual feel better, the best way to fight it is to make the individual feel better without the use of drugs. Individuals may be trained through anti-stress programs to regulate their internal feelings and overcome stress so that they will not feel the need for cocaine (Rosenbloom, p.18).

Wrap up about cocaine:

Cocaine is one of the most serious enemies of human beings in general and the youth in particular. Despite the many factors that may lead to the addiction of cocaine, there are means of prevention which can overcome the urge for cocaine. Legal restrictions, parental care and individual awareness may be together united to put cocaine under control after all.


Graysen, Susan. (1996). Cocaine Alters Brain Chemistry. PharmInfoNet Homepage.

Sears, W. (1985). Drugs & The Human Being. New  York: HBJ Inc.

Weiss, R. & Mirin, S. (1987). Cocaine The Human Danger. New York: Ballantine Books.

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