Medical And Social Aspects of Cocaine
Since the times immemorial, people have always wanted to enter new states of mind and to experience new feelings. Frequently, it was possible only with different stimulants and hallucinogens. While some of them could be found in fruits, vegetables and roots, usage of these chemicals in little doses has not been dangerous. But as soon as people had learned to pure cocaine from the coca leaves, it has caused many deaths. Today, cocaine is considered to be one of the most dangerous chemical that needs several seconds to kill adult person. This work is aimed to study social and medical effects of cocaine. In addition, the purpose of this research is to prove that cocaine may be applied in medicine and other fields, but its social effects are extremely dangerous for the society.
History of Cocaine and Its Effects
Cocaine has always been used as a psychical simulant and anesthetic. The natives of Southern America have taken cocaine as a restoring and narcotic pill. For example, the Inca Indians used the leaves of the coca in religion and medicine. Due to hallucinogenic effects of this drug, the ancient shamans have communicated with the spirits only after a dose of cocaine. People, who had sacred duties in the society, had to take cocaine quite often in order to make different rituals and to enter trance. Spillane stated that cocaine was used by workers in order to work better and more time. Cocaine was so valued that the employers have given it to the workers. Moreover, as ancient people had no pills and anesthetics, cocaine was used in order to heal the warriors. As cocaine is strong stimulant, people could restore from injuries and hard work much faster. Cocaine was also used in order to improve potential and to raise the spirits of the warriors. These facts mean that cocaine has played an important role in the lives of Southern Americas natives. People did not misuse it, so they have used the fruits of cocaine and have benefited from it. Normal social life and medical help could not be possible, if it were not for cocaine.
However, in the 19th century people started producing pure cocaine from the plant coca. It helped to spread cocaine on the entire America and other continents. Popularization of cocaine led to possibility of children addiction to this drug. Therefore, people have started propaganda on limiting the use of cocaine and prohibiting it. Madge wrote that African Americans were misusing cocaine, which caused increased crime rate. Robberies, fights, rapes and other violence were increasing: sexual desires are increased and perverted ... peaceful negroes become quarrelsome, and timid negroes develop a degree of 'Dutch courage' that is sometimes almost incredible. Despite many attempts to prohibit the use of cocaine, the contemporary mankind still suffers from cocaine addiction. The centuries have gone, but cocaine is still dangerous drug that destroys the society order and causes social problems that are difficult to solve.
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Cocaine and Medicine
As it wrote above, cocaine was used in medicine before the pills were invented. It is not surprising that the use of cocaine in medicine became more complicated. Therefore, the effects of cocaine on the health and development of medicine have increased. Nowadays, it is known that the key consequence of cocaine is that it increases the power of nervous impulses on the membrane of neurons. Because of this, cocaine is a component of pills that help to heal depression and weakness. As cocaine effects human serotonin system and is taken as anti-depressant, over-dosage of this chemical causes psychoses but not euphoria.
It is common knowledge that cocaine has made a true revolution in anesthesia. In the beginning of the 20st century cocaine was applied for local anesthesia. After the medical characteristics of cocaine were discovered, almost all the medicines included cocaine. The greatest pharmacological companies produced cocaine and wanted to use it for treatment of any pain. After procaine was invented in the beginning of the 20st century, the popularity of cocaine in medicine started to fall. Modern medicine avoids the use of cocaine due to drug addiction. There are thousands of researchers, who dedicated to the problem of cocaine and medicine. They proved that cocaine may be used as an eye drop in order to test Parkinson disease in 2005. But modern medicine rejects its use because people are aware of less harmful and more effective chemicals now.
It is vital to list the effects of cocaine on human body. There are different kinds of the effects of this drug, but three major groups will be discussed below. Central effects include euphoria, rise of energy and good mood, enhancing of intellectual and physical abilities, decrease of appetite and tiredness. Peripheral effects are tachycardia, increased sweating, increased body temperature and arterial pressure and enlargement of the pupil of the eye. In case cocaine is taken for a long period, people suffer from headache, sickness, hallucinations, psychoses, depression, aggression and suicide addiction. However, the most dangerous effect of cocaine is cocaine intoxication. Its immediate effects may cause insults and even death. Cocaine is often consumed with alcohol, which has impact on liver and kidneys, has higher cardiovascular toxicity than cocaine .
Social Aspects of Cocaine
Since people have started to misuse cocaine, it is a serious problem for the society. Negative effects of cocaine on peoples behavior were noticed in the end of the 19th century. However, understanding of these effects did not make narcotic use of cocaine disappear. Two major social problems of cocaine include high rate of mortality and increased crime rates.
Biggest part of people with cocaine addiction dies because of cocaine intoxication. If the dose is increased, the effects of overdose may not cause death, but the condition of the person will be worsening. Not everybody knows how to take cocaine correctly; many people die because of inappropriate intake. Despite different ways to take cocaine, some people die because of mistakes in the simplest ways. For instance, if cocaine is consumed through a needle, several people without money and knowledge may use the same needle. It can result in Hepatitis, HIV and other severe diseases. High rate of mortality among young people led to the aging of a nation, demographic decrease and other dangerous effects.
Peoples behavior after consumption of cocaine changes. Usually, people do not realize what they are doing and commit more crimes. Many homicides, rapes, fights and other conflicts are may because of the effects of cocaine. As a result, the ones, who surround the addicted people often suffer from violence and aggression. These cause psychological, social, political and economic problems in the community and disorder the society. The entre social institutes are influenced by cocaine addiction: children, brought up by addicted people do not get parent help and support, which makes them consume cocaine too. Addicted people do not execute their social duties. They do not work, do not bring more money and make the society spend millions of dollars for anti-drug campaigns. Poverty and heavy financial problems negatively affect the society and increase common suffering.
Despite the proofs against cocaine, some people may insist that social aspects of cocaine are not so bad. For example, they may claim that people are free to control their life and to bear responsibility. As cocaine was cheaper than alcohol in 19th century, people used it as a mean to relax and to have a nice time. Oppositionists may add that one should take cocaine rationally because it gives to people what they want. Nowadays, life in big cities is so tiring that peoples psychic can not relax and restore without dugs, which makes its consumption necessary. Cocaine has saved millions of lives in medicine, and it is applied in different sciences. However, this counterargument sounds ridiculous because people take cocaine due to severe addiction rather than for fun. Cocaine is too dangerous for human body; therefore it should be replaced by other chemicals.
Mankind has been using cocaine for a long time. Throughout the history, its role has always been influential. However, if at the beginning of its spreading people benefited from it, more and more individuals suffer because of cocaine today. I am not denying importance of cocaine in social and medical spheres of the ancestors. But the contemporary researchers have discovered alternatives to cocaine. Cocaine is taken as narcotic drug, which is evidence against its use. Millions of people die because they can not quit consuming cocaine. This drug destroys social spheres and worsens financial field. Nevertheless, it is a challenge for the society to overcome cocaine addiction.