What is Cocaine? and Important Cocaine Facts

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Cocaine has the distinction of being the most powerful stimulant of natural origin. It is extracted from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca, also known as the coca scrub, a plant that grows in the Andean highlands of South America.

The known addictive properties of cocaine, as well as the wear and tear the drug causes on those who use it, have propelled cocaine into a status of highly illicit drugs. Even so, cocaine remains one of the most accessible street drugs in the U.S., which is what gives cocaine its popularity throughout the country.

As cocaine use has steadily risen within the country in the last few years, according to drug monitoring sources, cocaine took another leap in drug overdose levels, breaking into the morbid territories originally occupied by prescription opioids, such as OxyContin and Percocet.

And while cocaine has been glamourized by entities such as the entertainment industry, the reality about cocaine is the drug can easily get out of hand for a user, which can be very unglamorous.

Originally conceived as a pain blocker, cocaine is known for the intense high it gives, what is also known as euphoria.

Euphoria, which is also known as happiness, comes on quickly after cocaine is introduced to the bloodstream either by snorting the drug or injecting it.

Of course, it’s the euphoric sensation that keeps people coming back to cocaine. The high is very strong, yet short lived, which in turn means the lows come on quite quickly and at times, violently. To the user, the only remedy for these withdrawals is more cocaine.


Cocaine has a long and storied history. Nearly as old as the coca plant itself from where cocaine originates, the drug was originally found to be an effective medicinally as a pain blocker.

It’s first medical use was by Karl Koller, an Austrian ophthalmologist, who employed cocaine as an anesthetic during eye surgery. From that point on, cocaine came to be known as a powerfully capable anesthetic.

Around the same time cocaine was also being used recreationally, specifically in a new soft drink called Coca-Cola. The drink contained 9 milligrams of cocaine per glass, which made the drink quite addicting.

In 1903, the coke-laced version of the soft drink was banned, although it still managed to keep its distinct flavor.

For all the good that cocaine did, many in the medical profession realized the drug was simply too addictive for safe use, and with that, came out with less powerful and addicting anesthetics. Cocaine, in its basic form, stopped being used clinically as a pain blocker, in favor of newer agents.

From what we know today, cocaine is among some of the fastest drugs to addict a user, and just for that very reason, one of the most difficult to recover from. This can be partly from the fact that the user wants to keep pushing his or her tolerance, in which they seek out a high is good as the first time they tried the drug.

The popular forms of cocaine are “cocaine hydrochloride,” which is when the drug is in its powdery form. “Freebase,” the other form cocaine takes, is when the drug is separated from its salt form in which cocaine is naturally found. Ammonia is used to extract the base, making it almost 100% pure.

All this is rather academic when it comes to knowing, sensing, seeing and feeling a loved one has an issue with cocaine use.

If you feel you or a loved one has an issue with cocaine, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.

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