Cocaine: A Diverse Past and Dangerous Present

Cocaine has been around for millennia. Long before its modern-day street form, this particular drug was widely available. It was even used for a number of legitimate purposes and endorsed by professionals in various fields. Back in those days, its true underlying dangers weren’t fully understood. Before long, though, they made themselves painfully obvious.

In the Beginning

Cocaine comes from the leaves of the Coca plant, a naturally growing species originally found in South America. Thousands of years ago, South American natives would chew Coca leaves to speed up their systems and induce various euphoric effects during religious ceremonies. Eventually, many of those natives were forced into slave labor, and their captors used Coca leaves to make them more complacent and easier to control.

Moving Forward

Over time, the effects of this plant became more universally known. At one point, famed psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud was a habitual user of cocaine. He even prescribed it to patients for a wide range of issues. He swore by its ability to treat depression as well as other conditions. This drug was also used as an effective anesthetic and prescription painkiller for some time.

Rumors abound about cocaine once being a primary ingredient in Coca-Cola. Though this theory is the subject of any number of jokes, it’s actually based in reality. By the early 1900s, the potentially harmful effects and addictive nature of cocaine were better understood, so cocaine was removed from this once not-so-soft drink.

Modern Day

At present, cocaine is one of the most widely used illegal substances available, and it’s among the most addictive on the market. It’s smoked, snorted, injected and used topically. No one can dispute its ability to numb pain receptors, bring on a sense of extreme happiness and excitement, curb anxiety and aid in weight loss, but it’s also quite dangerous and addictive.

These days, cocaine is readily available on the streets and used by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Though it’s responsible for numerous deaths and even more negative health issues, it’s also one of the most commonly used and abused substances on the planet. If you’re suffering from cocaine addiction, visit this website for more information on the drug itself, addiction and the many types of help available for overcoming dependence.

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