Jun 25, 2019 in Health

Cocaine Addiction

Summary of the Book

This paper is a book review of Cocaine Addiction, Edition 1 by Jerome J. Platt that was published on June 4, 2000. It is an excellent book based on the fact that Dr. Platt has written a comprehensive text on the problem of cocaine abuse and how the treatment approach can be initiated to counter challenges caused by its usage in the society. The book revolves around the trials and treatment approach that can be undertaken by both the medical sector and the community to counter cocaine addiction and cocaine abuse. According to the author, cocaine use or Coca leaf chewing was initially reserved for the nobility or as a part of religious ceremonies in South America.

Apparently, the implication of Platt is that cocaine has been in use for a very long time, but it is being used in the wrong way in the modern world. The Platt’s thoughts are based on effects the drug is creating in terms of crime and other negative aspects. Furthermore, the author also entails that without the cocaine the Inca employees would not have performed their tasks in the mines well. Fundamentally, Jerome can be looked at as a one of the best modern authors who have taken the initiative to discuss drugs and treatment approaches that can be undertaken to help the society move in the right direction.


Evidently, the author shows that cocaine is one of the most useful drugs, but it is capable of being more harmful than alcohol and opium. The perception of the author is explicitly enumerated in the book, especially in terms of negative effects generated by cocaine abuse. The medical field is said to be primarily responsible because it was and is still being used for medical purposes. In 1887, Oregon passed a law requiring physicians to have a written prescription for obtaining cocaine. Furthermore, the introduction of more rules and ban of the shipping of Coca leaves were an indication the cocaine was a dangerous drug. The effects of using the drug result in addiction, meaning that it is impossible to do anything without using cocaine once an individual starts using it.

The modern wave of cocaine use began in the late 1960s and early 1970s among the middle class and later it became popular among the inner-city poor. As of 1985, a decline occurred in cocaine abuse as fewer young adults had been initiated into cocaine use. The impact of cocaine use led to a preliminary data for 1993 as it entailed that cocaine-related episodes per 100,000 population increased by 49%. Furthermore, cocaine-related events per 100,000 emergency department visits rose to 41%. There was also an increase in juvenile arrests and adult male arrests, while cocaine remained the drug for cities. Apparently, huge cocaine use, especially among arrestees, is an indication that it has created problems for the society.

Cocaine was introduced in the USA in the 1980s as an inexpensive, very potent, and extremely addictive drug. The drug began to take a firm hold on poor communities and led to high levels of disruption in the social fabric. Intranasal use is the primary route for the first use and cocaine use has also been cited in association with heterosexually transmitted AIDS. Cocaine abuse may also lead to accidental death, especially when related to reckless driving. The author also shows that the cost of cocaine dramatically dropped in the 1980s and it coupled with greater availability in an easy-to-use form.

Despite its drop in cost, its effect on an individual is often enormous as it acts as a contributing factor to the personal and social deterioration of cocaine users. Furthermore, cocaine abuse can also lead to death in cases where an injection is used and later the collapse of the respiratory systems happens. Platt also enumerates that more men use cocaine as compared to women, but the level of dependency is equal for both genders. When it comes to the aspect of treatment entry, the majority of cocaine abusers typically are in their late twenties. Additionally, cocaine also contributes to prostitution when individuals, especially women, may refer to prostitution to obtain funds for the drug.

Platt’s approach is significant as he presents the subjective experience of cocaine addiction by detailing the course of subjective symptoms and physiology of cocaine use. He also enumerates a lot of epidemiological data regarding clinical traits of the population of cocaine abusers, age, gender, race, and patterns of using cocaine. The approach used to present the information on cocaine abuse can be looked at as dispassionate as he permits no theoretical biases to cloud the variety of interesting associations he illustrates. The author has arranged the book professionally based on the perspective that each chapter emphasizes different aspects of cocaine use.

As a result, he has also demonstrated varied severe medical consequences of cocaine use and addiction. He offers examples of how the spread of HIV/AIDS can be related to cocaine ingestion. Thus, the inclusion of ways that can be used to counter cocaine effects in the society is appropriate as it shows the reader that government and other related stakeholders have taken necessary strategies to deal with cocaine ingestion. Essentially, it is a readable and scholarly book that can be used to teach students about the importance of evading cocaine as a drug and other related chemicals.


Carol Clark explores the process of addiction in the book Addict America: The Lost Connection to bring out her point to readers. Apparently, her thoughts are not that worthwhile to every reader as her creative approach is not adequately addressed. Dr. Carl looks at addiction as something in and of itself and a condition and not a substance abuse. Apparently, it is clear that her thoughts are not of meaningful perspective based on the fact that being addicted calls for a particular type of treatment to recover. Thus, the insinuation here is that addiction is a disease and not a condition as per the definition made by Carol Clark.

Furthermore, Clark’s defining addiction as a condition is an indication that she views addiction as state of something regarding its working order or quality outlook. Therefore, her perception of addiction is wrong because it does not detail the outcome and effects of addiction for a person and the society in general. Her thought is not right because addiction is looked at as a chronic psychiatric disease that can be prevented and treated using untargeted active efforts. Addictions are interrelated and related to other mental conditions by common neurobiological pathways. The outcome of addictions often involves modulating reward, behavioral control, and stress response as opposed to what Dr. Carol perceives it as a condition. 

The critique of Dr. Carol’s book is an indication that her research is not fully done and, as a result, a proper and more professionalized approach has to be implemented. Apart from the fact that Carol has written an excellent book on addiction, the contents of the book are disjointed and the writing does not flow coherently. Furthermore, it seems like Dr. Carol has focused on the connection people need with one another and the universe and not on issues associated with addiction. Carol Clark’s approach is clearly not coherent as matters related to addiction have been rampantly used to fill out pages. Additionally, the arrangement of the book is not good as one can think that chapters have been randomly chosen.

She also uses myths to show her viewpoint, whereby in reality the reader is being blinded not to see facts. Thus, it needs a person who is well conversed with myths to interpret effectively the contents of the book in question. One of the myths she uses is that men use sex addiction as a way to avoid taking responsibility for cheating. Evidently, her point is that some men often try to associate with sex, but evade it. Essentially, her opinion is that addicts take responsibility for their actions through recovery programs. Therefore, Dr. Clark’s book needs concentration on behalf of the reader to understand effectively what she means by addiction.

Treatment in Length

Platt has demonstrated several ways that can be put into consideration so as to treat cocaine addicts. One of the examples is the social network therapy meant to bolster the patient’s attempt to attain stable abstinence and prevent relapse via involvement of the media. It is an approach that initiates the same concept as that of being involved in self-help groups that recognize the need for involving others in the process of attaining and maintaining abstinence. The strategy of such an approach also entails dealing with the loss of control over substance use and relapse created by abuse of cocaine.

Social network therapy is another way that is similar to family therapy that views dysfunction as a family rather than individual issue. Clearly, the manner in which Platt has demonstrated his viewpoints is of essence as he puts his examples in a simple way to enable the reader to understand the contents of his thoughts. According to the author, successful treatment via the social network therapy entails establishment of a therapeutic alliance and a good deal of flexibility on the part of the therapist. Furthermore, the treatment also requires availability and willingness of a member of the patient’s social network to take part in the treatment process. One of the most intriguing points of the author is the moment when he demonstrates that the therapist’s function is to act as a team leader instead of a family member. What he or she is meant to undertake is directing the network to assist the therapist in sustaining the patient’s abstinence. Therefore, the author insinuates that the therapist ought to be committed, pragmatic in approach, readily available, and open in interaction. Therefore, initiating strategies of the social network therapy daily, weekly, and monthly will create positive results for the patient.

The other treatment approach that was proposed by Platt is appropriate for cocaine addicts is the aversion therapy. The program includes five sodium pentothal treatment offered on alternative days, daily learning groups, as well as individual and family counseling. The program is made up of administration of oral emetine meant to induce nausea in association with the act of snorting cocaine. The treatment also involves application of irritating, but not painful electric stimuli in conjunction with the act of using imaging and preparing to use cocaine. Thus, the implication by Platt is that the United States as a country has taken all necessary steps to counter cocaine addiction and its negative influence on the society as a whole.

Platt can be looked at as a good author since he explores different treatment concepts to show the reader that cocaine addiction is treatable. It is the reason he has proposed the chemical dependency counseling approach as another way that can be used to counter cocaine addiction. The approach is meant to offer therapy for cocaine addicts when treatment takes place in hospitals, schools, colleges, and rehabilitation centers. Therefore, the implication of the author is that the chemical dependency counseling is unique as it is the only professional treatment that treats chemical dependency as a primary disorder rather than the one secondary to some disorders. The treatment is significant as Platt entails that counselors perceive the abstinence as the sine qua non of recovery. Additionally, inclusion of twelve-step programs increases the possibility of recovery from cocaine addiction.

The cognitive-behavioral therapy is another effective strategy proposed by Platt as a way of preventing relapse among cocaine addicts. The approach is meant to be based on assisting cocaine-addicted people to abstain and remain abstinent. The process of the treatment entails enabling patients to recognize, avoid, and cope with the effects of the cocaine use. The therapy treatment is noteworthy because of its compatibility with a range of other cocaine-related effects. Moreover, it is among primary treatment approaches that can be used to treat cocaine addicts via the medical treatment. Therefore, the cognitive therapy treatment is meant to modify the ways patients think, act, and relate to others. It is a type of treatment that creates initial abstinence and a continued drug-free lifestyle.

Cognitive therapy consists of three approaches, including relapse prevention, community reinforcement, and neurobehavioral treatment. Relapse prevention as discussed in the above paragraphs focuses on assisting patients with identifying high risks that contribute to drug relapse and coming up with appropriate traits for avoiding cocaine effects. There is also the community reinforcement treatment aimed at assisting patients to attain initial abstinence as well as an extended drug-free way of life. The process involves family members, offering of employment opportunities, and rewarding of patients for taking part in the treatment. Lastly, there is the neurobehavioral treatment that is a comprehensive 12-month outpatient treatment.

Neurobehavioral treatment is a treatment that envisions individual therapy, drug education, patient specialization, and self-help groups. The contents of cognitive therapy are an essential approach to counter cocaine addiction and its effects as it is dealt with in a professional manner. Thus, the outcome of using cognitive therapy is that an individual is likely to recover within the 12-month period as each and every possible treatment is often administered within the said timeframe. The treatment proposed by the author as the cognitive therapy is appropriate as they draft medical approaches meant to assist both the patient and his or her family.

Fundamentally, it needs to be used as it deals with all types of effects generated by cocaine ingestion. The involvement of medical professionals is based on the fact that cocaine brings about damages for a person’s body as well. Those involved in medical treatment are physicians and nurses. Medical professionals address the physical health of the patient’s physical health. Essentially, the implication made by the author is that it is imperative for patients to receive services that match their treatment needs. The relevance comes about in terms of the perspective of recovery and avoidance of dire consequences that might be related to a prolonged intake of cocaine.

Pharmacotherapy as treatment entails the use of medications to deal with cocaine addiction and abuse. Physicians and nurses use drugs that treat withdrawal symptoms of cocaine abuse and block the euphoric high induced by the drug. The treatment also focuses on how to maintain an extended drug-free lifestyle by blocking the patient’s craving desire. Furthermore, the treatment involves treating the underlying psychopathologies and toxic effects of cocaine on an individual. Every treatment proposed by Platt is beneficial as it is designed to help the patient recover from cocaine addiction and abuse. The period used to counter cocaine addiction is relevant as it permits the therapist and the physician understands which ways work best with certain effects. Furthermore, the medication offered to the patient assists health providers to attain more experience and, hence, be in the position to provide better services.

The approach of treating cocaine abuse and addiction by medical practitioners is to reduce CNS and cardiovascular effects of the drug. The process takes place through the use of benzodiazepines and control is made clinically by tachycardia and hypertension. Vasopressin can also be used to counter challenges created by cardiac arrest as a result of cocaine ingestion. The insinuation of the medication treatment by Jerome is to enumerate that cocaine can also be treated medically. It entails that therapy and medication are desirable procedures that can be initiated to counter the effects of cocaine use. Additionally, it entails that having a variety of treatment strategies is bound to help the society effectively deal with the effects caused by cocaine ingestion.

My Critique of the Book

This analysis is based on Cocaine Addiction, Edition 1 by Jerome J. Platt that was published on June 4, 2000. The book is both entertaining and professionally written, hence being desirable for any reader to read. It has well-placed chapters and the language used is understandable for both English native speakers and those who English as the second language. The author has tried his very best to arrange the sections in a format that can be easily followed and help gain the content clearly. It is a good book because it generalizes issues relating to cocaine addiction from a general perspective. As noted from the chapters, the book talks about African American, Hispanics, women, men, and the youth as well.

Platt tells how cocaine was introduced in the US and effects it has created in the society as a whole since then. Apparently, the author of the book is not clear on whether measures taken to counter the cocaine addiction have created any difference. Therefore, it can be perceived that he omitted a delicate point meant to guide the reader to understand the outcome of the drug in the society. The implication of his omission is an indication that he did not undertake his research in detail. Apart from his perception of cocaine, its effect, and treatment initiated so far, he has not delved into issues related to other societies in the world.

Thus, focus on the effects of the drug in the American society and ignoring other regions like Africa are a biased point of view. Not focusing on other states entails that results generalized by Platt have not fully been utilized. Additionally, it shows that he focused his research only on a particular country. In general, the author has not adequately addressed the effect and treatment of other drugs, especially heroine, which has similar effects as cocaine. Thus, the author should have included more information in terms of comparison between cocaine and heroin. Moreover, an emphasis should also have been made on how cocaine has affected the world as a whole and steps undertaken globally to counter the challenges brought by the drug addiction. From my perspective, it is clear that the author has failed to mention treatment methods that have been proposed by the government. The proposal of the government assistance is important as it has the ability to restrict both import and manufacture of the drug within the country.

The author has listed some treatment approaches that can be used to counter the effects of cocaine on a patient. Apparently, the insinuation by the author is that the proposed procedures have been utilized in the United States. A vast number of treatment approaches is an indication that doctors and physicians are still searching for better and modified strategies that can be used to counter cocaine addiction. The author has majorly based his narrative on medication approach and therapy treatment. They are significant as proposed by the author since they have been used to assist cocaine addicts and abusers to abstain from the drug. Apparently, the treatments used in the book have been in the market for some time, but still the number of cocaine users is increasing.

The problem apparently is based on the fact that related treatment groups and the government have not taken into consideration necessary strategies. The information offered by Platt about treatment approaches makes it clear that the therapy has been used widely because it entails involvement of family members. Apart from the involvement of family members, the author does not show any examples that demonstrate achievements made by the therapy treatment among cocaine abusers and cocaine addicts. The book written by Platt on drug addiction, i.e. cocaine and treatment strategies, is an excellent book. Therefore, the book needs more research to assist the reader with compreheding effects and achievements made by the proposed treatment approaches.


To sum up, the book review and critiques discussed above are significant as they tell the reader about issues related to cocaine addiction and its effects. Furthermore, the paper also lists the type of treatment that can be used by an addict to recover appropriately. The information offered from the authors’ point of view is relevant as one is made aware of what is happening in terms of issues related to drug addiction. An individual can associate with drugs such as cocaine and heroin and, hence, counter its effects. The rationale for my thoughts is based on the fact that the books offer treatment strategies.

By enumerating treatment strategies in detail, the paper has been drafted primarily to help the reader understand all types of treatments that are available on the market. The variety of treatments also shows that effective ways are available and, hence, it is possible to create a better place for cocaine addicts. Additionally, the purpose of demonstrating effects of cocaine addiction and treatment approaches is to show that, despite creating dangerous effects, it is treatable. The critique of the Carol’s book and Platt’s ideas entails that different authors have different perceptions of what addiction is based on their research methods. The approach initiated by both authors is good because one can easily understand what their points are.

A treatment offered to groups through the guidance of a therapist is an example of how the treatment of an addict may be easily initiated. In terms of addiction, Platt offers different effects of cocaine such as involvement in crime, increase in AIDS, and sexual issues among older generations. The purpose of the author is to write about the impact of cocaine addiction and to help the reader understand consequences of ingesting drugs. Therefore, both books are significant as they make the reader aware of what is happening in the society with respect to the drug abuse and what strategies have been practiced to counter its challenges.


Related essays