The History Of Cocaine Addiction

by Bridget on May 22, 2012

Cocaine is one of the most widely abused substances in the United States of America. Millions of people spend their hard earned money every week to procure the substance, so that they can go out on the weekends and stay up all night partying. However, many other people use cocaine more recreationally. This type of abuse is very problematic and can lead to very serious health consequences. If a person uses cocaine for a prolonged period of time, it is highly likely that they will develop a cocaine addiction. If this happens, it will be necessary for an individual to enter into a drug rehab center in order to undergo a cocaine detox. Without the help of a drug rehab program, it is highly unlikely that an individual will be able to stop using cocaine on their own.


Cocaine was first developed in the late 1850s. At the time, scientists understood the potential dangers of cocaine, however, were optimistic about its potential health benefits and ability to cure certain ailments. Ironically, the dangers associated with cocaine led to the synthesis of other, safer drugs. Scientists were able to synthesize cocaine from cocoa leaves and were able to turn it into a pure powder. It was initially used for many different medical conditions and was regarded as a sort of wonder drug at the time.


In 1883 it was determined that cocaine enhanced soldier pilot’s endurance during manuevers. These findings were then published in a German medical journal. At that point Cocaine was sold over the counter until 1916. It could be found in tonics, patent medications, as well as toothache remedies. There were also chocolate cocaine tablets.

Civil War

During the Civil War, cocaine was often used by doctors who did not have a large supply of different medications. They would use the drug as an anesthetic during surgeries. In rare instances, this is still done to this day in certain parts of the world. However, most developed nations have been able to procure large amounts of prescription drugs that provide the same benefits without the severe dangers of addiction.


Coca Cola contained actual cocaine for a period of time at the turn of the century. In 1886 it was introduced as a valuable brain-tonic and was said to cure nervous afflictions. It was advertised as a self-control drink. It became hugely popular and until 1903 contained 60mg of cocaine. Today it still contains extracts of coca-leaves.

Crack Epidemic

In the 1980s, drug dealers figured out a way to take a small amount of cocaine and turn it into a large batch of “crack” cocaine. Basically, drug dealers would break down their cocaine, add baking soda and other ingredients to it, cook it up so that it solidified, and chopped it up into crack “rocks”. Thus began the crack epidemic that quickly swept over cities throughout the company. As opposed to snorting the substance, as people do with regular cocaine, crack cocaine is meant to be smoked. This produces a much quicker and more intense high. However, users who smoke crack come down very quickly. This is why crack cocaine is so amazingly addictive.

Cocaine abuse is nothing new, however scientists are discovering better ways to combat cocaine addiction. With the help of a cocaine detox, performed by medical professionals, it is possible for a person to take their lives back from the grips of a drug addiction. Without medical intervention, however, it is highly unlikely that a person with an addiction to cocaine will be able to kick the habit by themselves.

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