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WHY THIS BOOKLET WAS PRODUCED T here is a lot of talk about drugs in Don’t be fooled. You need facts to avoid becoming hooked on drugs and to help your friends stay off them. the world—on That is why we have prepared this the streets, at school, booklet—for you. on the Internet and TV. Your feedback is important to us, Some of it is true, some not. so we look forward to hearing from Much of what you hear about drugs you. You can visit us on the web at actually comes from those selling drugfreeworld.org and e‑mail us them. Reformed drug dealers have at firstname.lastname@example.org. confessed they would have said anything to get others to buy drugs.2
What is Cocaine?T he word cocaine refers to the drug in a powder form or crystal form.*The powder is usually mixed with To more rapidly absorb the drug into the body, abusers inject it, but this substantially increases the risk of overdose.substances such as corn starch, talcum Inhaling it as smoke or vapor speedspowder and/or sugar or other drugs absorption with less health risk thansuch as procaine (a local anesthetic) injection.or amphetamines. * In its crystal form, it is called crack cocaine. See The Truth About Crack Cocaine in this series of booklets.Extracted from coca leaves, cocainewas originally developed as a painkiller.It is most often sniffed, with the powderabsorbed into the bloodstream throughthe nasal tissues. It can also be ingestedor rubbed into the gums. 3
A deadly white PowderC ocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs known to man. Once a personbegins taking the drug, it has proven economic levels, even schoolchildren as young as eight years old. Cocaine use can lead to death fromalmost impossible to become free of its respiratory (breathing) failure, stroke,grip physically and mentally. Physically it cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in thestimulates key receptors (nerve endings brain) or heart attack. Children ofthat sense changes in the body) within the cocaine‑addicted mothers come into thebrain that, in turn, create a euphoria to world as addicts themselves. Many sufferwhich users quickly develop a tolerance. birth defects and many other problems.Only higher dosages and more frequentuse can bring about the same effect. Despite its dangers, cocaine use continues to increase —likely because users find itToday, cocaine is a worldwide, so difficult to escape from the first stepsmultibillion‑dollar enterprise. Users taken down the long dark road that leadsencompass all ages, occupations and to addiction.4
street Y ou believe that coke will increase your perceptions, that it will allow you to surpass yourself, thatnames: you will be able to control things. It’s bloody nonsense. After a while you don’t pay your bills anymore, you don’tOf the dozens of street terms for cocaine wash yourself anymore, you give up your friends, your family. Youin use today, the most common are: will become defenseless and• Aunt Nora • Mojo alone.” — Nigel• Bernice • Nose candy• Binge • Paradise• Blow • Sneeze•C • Sniff• Charlie • Snow• Coke • Toot• Dust • White• Flake 5
international statisticsC ocaine is the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world. The most recentstatistics show that international seizures people (15 to 34 years), an estimated 7.5 million have used cocaine at least once in their life, 3.5 million in the last year andof cocaine have continued to increase and 1.5 million in the past month.now total 756 metric tons, with the largest In the United States, the 2006 Nationalquantities of the drug intercepted in South Survey on Drug Use and Health reports thatAmerica, followed by North America. 35.3 million Americans aged 12 and olderAccording to the European Monitoring reported having usedCentre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, cocaine. Amongcocaine is also the second most commonly young adultsused illegal drug in Europe. Among young aged 18 to 25, Surveys show that roughly half of European dance club patrons have been high on cocaine.6
M y friend was on drugs for four years, three of which were on hard drugs such as cocaine,the past‑year use rate was 6.9%. Among high LSD, morphine andschool students, 8.5% of 12th graders had many antidepressantsused cocaine at some point in their young lives, and painkillers. Actuallyaccording to the 2006 Monitoring the Future anything he could get hisStudy by the National Institute for Drug Abuse. hands on. He complained all the time of terribleIn the United States, cocaine continues to be pains in his bodythe most frequently mentioned illegal drug and he just gotreported to the Drug Abuse Warning Network worse and worseby hospital emergency departments. There till he finally went to seewere 448,481 emergency department visits a doctor.involving cocaine reported in 2005. “The doctor told him that there was nothing that could be done for him and that due to the deterioration of his body, he would not live much longer. Within days—he was dead.” — Dwayne 7
Why is cocaine sohighly addictive?N ext to methamphetamine,* cocaine creates the greatest psychologicaldependence of any drug. It stimulates A tolerance to cocaine develops quickly—the addict soon fails to achieve the same high experienced earlier from thekey pleasure centers within the brain and same amount of cocaine.causes extremely heightened euphoria. Deadly combination of drugs Cocaine is sometimes taken with other drugs, including tranquilizers, amphetamines,† marijuana and heroin. Such combinations greatly increase the danger of using cocaine. In addition to the likelihood of developing a two‑drug habit, one can easily create a mixture of narcotics that proves fatal. * methamphetamine: a highly addictive central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) stimulant. † amphetamine: a central nervous system stimulant, often called “speed.”
I had no more future. I did not see how I could escape my cocaine dependence.I was lost. I was ‘exploding’ and unable tostop myself from continuing to seriouslyabuse cocaine. I had hallucinationsthat animals were crawlingunder my skin. I felt them each timeI shot up and scraped myself with thepoint of my syringe until I started bleedingin order to make them leave. I was oncebleeding so heavily from this I had to betaken to the hospital.” — Susan 9
Effects of CocaineWhat are the short‑term the risk that the user will experience aeffects of cocaine? heart attack, stroke, seizure or respiratoryC ocaine causes a short‑lived, intense high that is immediately followed bythe opposite—intense depression, edginess (breathing) failure, any of which can result in sudden death. What are the long‑termand a craving for more of the drug. People effects of cocaine?who use it often don’t eat or sleep properly. The phrase “dope fiend” was originallyThey can experience greatly increased coined many years ago to describe theheart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. negative side effects of constant cocaineThe drug can make people feel paranoid,* use. As tolerance to the drug increases,angry, hostile and anxious—even when it becomes necessary to take greaterthey aren’t high. and greater quantities to get the sameRegardless of how much of the drug is used high. Prolonged daily use causes sleep or how frequently, deprivation and loss of appetite. A cocaine person can become psychotic and begin increases to experience hallucinations. * paranoid: suspicious, distrustful or afraid of other people.10
As cocaine interferes with the way the D on’t touch cocaine. I spent two years in jail because of this drug.brain processes chemicals, one needs moreand more of the drug just to feel “normal.” And when I got out,People who become addicted to cocaine life was so hard I(as with most other drugs) lose interest inother areas of life. started taking the drug again. I knowComing down from the drug causesdepression so severe that a person will do 10 girls who becamealmost anything to get the drug—even prostitutes because ofcommit murder. coke. It’s much moreAnd if he or she can’t get cocaine, the extreme and degradingdepression can get so intense it can drive than we believe. At thethe addict to suicide. time we don’t realize to what degree it destroys us.” — Shawne 11
Short‑term effects• Loss of appetite• ncreased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature I• Contracted blood vessels• Increased rate of breathing• Dilated pupils• Disturbed sleep patterns• Nausea• Hyper‑stimulation• Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior• Hallucinations, hyper‑excitability, irritability• actile hallucination that creates the illusion T of bugs burrowing under the skin• Intense euphoria• Anxiety and paranoia• Depression• Intense drug craving• Panic and psychosis• onvulsions, seizures and C sudden death from high doses (even one time).12 Cocaine causes heart, kidney, brain and lung damage.
Long‑term effects• ermanent damage to blood vessels of P heart and brain• High blood pressure, leading to heart attacks, strokes, and death• Liver, kidney and lung damage• Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed• Respiratory failure if smoked• Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected• Malnutrition, weight loss• Severe tooth decay• Auditory and tactile hallucinations • exual problems, reproductive damage S and infertility (for both men and women) • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion • Irritability and mood disturbances • Increased frequency of risky behavior • Delirium or psychosis • Severe depression • Tolerance and addiction (even after just one use)
children: the mostinnocent victims of cocaineO ne often hears the statement, “Yes, I take drugs, but that’s my business!”But drug use always has its innocent from a variety of physical problems which can include premature birth, low birth‑weight, stunted growth, birth defectsvictims, from those who become prey of and damage to the brain and nervousaddicts seeking through desperate means system.to finance their drug habit, to those who Low-birth‑weight babies are 20 timesdie in traffic accidents caused by drivers more likely to die in their first month ofunder the influence. life than normal‑weight babies, and theyThe most tragic victims of cocaine are face an increased risk of lifelong disabilitiesbabies born to mothers who use the such as mental retardation and braindrug during pregnancy. In the United damage.States alone, tens of thousands of The impact on society of this humancocaine‑exposed babies are born in tragedy has yet to be fully measured.a year. Those not addicted often suffer14
Cocaine: A short history c oca is one of the oldest, most potent and most dangerous stimulants of natural origin. Three thousand years before the birth in 1859 by German chemist Albert Niemann. It was not until the 1880s that it started to be popularized in the medical community. of Christ, ancient Incas in the Andes chewed Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, coca leaves to get their hearts racing and to who used the drug himself, was the first to speed their breathing to counter the effects broadly promote cocaine as a tonic to cure of living in thin mountain air. depression and sexual impotence. Native Peruvians chewed coca leaves only In 1884, he published an article entitled during religious ceremonies. This taboo was “Über Coca” (About Coke) which promoted broken when Spanish soldiers invaded Peru the “benefits” of cocaine, calling it a in 1532. Forced Indian laborers in Spanish “magical” substance. silver mines were kept supplied with coca leaves because it made them easier Freud, however, was not an to control and exploit. objective observer. He used cocaine regularly, prescribed Cocaine was first isolated it to his girlfriend and his best (extracted from coca leaves) friend and recommended itWhat began as a religious for general use.tradition in the Andes has turnedinto abuse throughout the world.
While noting that cocaine had led to or medicinal potions), tonics and“physical and moral decadence,” Freud kept wines were broadly used by peoplepromoting cocaine to his close friends, one of all social classes. Notableof whom ended up suffering from paranoid figures who promoted thehallucinations with “white snakes creeping “miraculous” effects of cocaineover his skin.” tonics and elixirs included inventor Thomas Edison andHe also believed that “For humans the toxic actress Sarah Bernhardt.dose (of cocaine) is very high, and there The drug became popular inseems to be no lethal dose.” Contrary to this the silent film industry and thebelief, one of Freud’s patients died from a pro‑cocaine messages cominghigh dosage he prescribed. out of Hollywood at that time In 1886, the popularity of the drug got influenced millions.a further boost when John Pemberton Cocaine use in society increasedincluded coca leaves as an ingredient in his and the dangers of the drugnew soft drink, Coca-Cola. The euphoric and gradually became more evident.energizing effects on the consumer helped Public pressure forced the Coca‑Colato skyrocket the popularity of Coca-Cola by company to remove the cocaine fromthe turn of the century. the soft drink in 1903.From the 1850s to the early 1900s, By 1905, it had become popular to snortcocaine and opium‑laced elixirs (magical cocaine and within five years, hospitals and
medical literature had started reporting Traditionally, cocaine was a rich man’s drug,cases of nasal damage resulting from the due to the large expense of a cocaine habit.use of this drug. By the late 1980s, cocaine was no longer thought of as the drug of choice for theIn 1912, the United States government wealthy. By then, it had the reputationreported 5,000 cocaine‑related deaths in of America’s most dangerous andone year and by 1922, the drug was officially addictive drug, linked with poverty,banned. crime and death.In the 1970s, cocaine emerged as the In the early 1990s, the Colombianfashionable new drug for entertainers and drug cartels produced and exportedbusinesspeople. Cocaine seemed to be the 500 to 800 tons of cocaine a year,perfect companion for a trip into the fast shipping not only to the US butlane. It “provided energy” and helped people also to Europe and Asia. Thestay “up.” large cartels were dismantled byAt some American universities, the law enforcement agencies in thepercentage of students who experimented mid‑1990s, but they were replaced bywith cocaine increased tenfold between smaller groups—with more than 3001970 and 1980. known active drug smuggling organizations in Colombia today.In the late 1970s, Colombian drug traffickersbegan setting up an elaborate network for As of 2008, cocaine had become the secondsmuggling cocaine into the US. most trafficked illegal drug in the world. 17
What Dealers WillTell YouWhen teens were surveyed to find out why make, will say anything to get you to buythey started using drugs in the first place, their drugs. They will tell you that “cocaine55% replied that it was due to pressure will make your life a party.”from their friends. They wanted to be cool They don’t care if the drugs ruin your lifeand popular. Dealers know this. as long as they are getting paid. All theyThey will approach you as a friend and care about is money. Former dealers haveoffer to “help you out” with “something to admitted they saw their buyers as “pawnsbring you up.” The drug will “help you fit in” in a chess game.”or “make you cool.” Get the facts about drugs. Make your ownDrug dealers, motivated by the profits they decisions.18
With coke, youon a light.a moth stuck are likeIt attracts you more and moreand you can’t stop it. It’s notphysical. It’s in your head. Themore you have it, the moreyou take it. I have injected itin myself every 10 minutes.I borrowed money from thebank to buy it. One day Ibecame unemployed. It wasworse. I used to shoot up all thetime. This thing made meinsane. I knew it, butI continued. I became atotal failure.“ — Marilyn 19
The Truth About DrugsD rugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect. Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short‑term help in the relief of pain, they alsoA small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’sup). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows thinking.you down). An even larger amount poisons andcan kill. Medicines are drugs that are intended to speed up or slow down or change something about theThis is true of any drug. Only the amount needed way your body is working, to try to make it workto achieve the effect differs. better. Sometimes they are necessary. But theyBut many drugs have another liability: they are still drugs: they act as stimulants or sedatives,directly affect the mind. They can distort the user’s and too much can kill you. So if you do not useperception of what is happening around him or medicines as they are supposed to be used, theyher. As a result, the person’s actions may be odd, can be as dangerous as illegal drugs.irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.20
The real answer is to getthe facts and not to takedrugs in the first place.
why do people take drugs? People take drugs because they want to They think drugs are a solution. But change something in their lives. eventually, the drugs become the problem. Here are some of the reasons young people have given for taking drugs: Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the consequences of drug use • To fit in are always worse than the problem one • To escape or relax is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to • To relieve boredom take drugs in the first place. • To seem grown up • To rebel • To experiment22
Millions of copies of booklets such asREFERENCES PHOTO CREDITS: Page 2, 8: Corbis; page 16: Freud Museum this have been distributed to peopleEuropean Monitoring Centre Photo Library.for Drugs and Drug Addiction, around the world in 22 languages.“State of the Drug Problem in As new drugs appear on the streets andEurope, 2008” more information about their effectsU.S. Drug Enforcement AgencyFact Sheet on Cocaine becomes known, existing booklets areNational Institute on Drug updated and new ones created.Abuse: “NIDA Info Facts: Crackand Cocaine,” April 2008 The booklets are published by theUnited Nations Office on Drugs Foundation for a Drug‑Free World, aand Crime, Drug Report 2008 nonprofit public benefit organization“Cocaine Facts Figures,”Office of National Drug Control headquartered in Los Angeles, California.Policy, 2008 The Foundation provides educational“Monitoring the Future:National Results on Adolescent materials, advice and coordination for itsDrug Use Overview of Key international drug prevention network.Findings 2007,” NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse It works with youth, parents, educators, volunteer organizations and government agencies—anyone with an interest in helping people lead lives free from drug abuse. 23