A History of Cocaine in America

A History of Cocaine in America

A History of Cocaine in America

Cocaine is one of the most highly addictive stimulants that often results in treatment at an addiction recovery facility. Although, the drug has a history stretching back to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, it didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1800s. In the past few centuries, new methods of producing the drug has caused it to become much more addictive.


Cocaine Is Popularized as Medicine

Cocaine first came to public attention when a university researcher revealed that the extract from coca leaves could be used as an anesthetic in 1879. Doctors began using it for patients with pain, and people quickly realized that it had very energizing effects. Products that contained cocaine included shampoos that supposedly stimulated hair growth, a toothpaste that woke people up in the morning, and a coca soda that was later renamed “Coca-Cola.” Many people used these products without ever realizing that their behavior may lead to treatment at  an addiction recovery center today.


People First Realize How Dangerous Cocaine Is

At first, cocaine seemed to be a harmless stimulant like coffee, but then people started to realize that it could cause an addiction severe enough to require a stay at a drug rehab center. As early as 1897, people were starting to call for bans on cocaine. Laborers were using it because the drug was cheaper than alcohol and let them work longer hours, but it caused many issues. There were widespread concerns that cocaine lead to crime and encouraged people to go on violent frenzies.


Cocaine Is Severely Restricted

Even before cocaine sales were outright prohibited, fears of violent, cocaine-addled criminals and stories of tragic young ladies ending up in a drug rehab facility, lead to some states putting heavy limitations on sales of cocaine. By 1922, cocaine was outlawed. It continued to be used in some medications and stimulants, and some of the troops during WWII were given cocaine in the form of “energy pills.” However, by the 1950s, cocaine was considered to be a drug of the past.


Disco Culture Popularized Cocaine

For a long time, cocaine was an obscure and outdated substance, but in the late 1960s, it suddenly became popular again. At first cocaine was just used among obscure artists and poets, but with the advent of disco fever, it suddenly started showing up as a popular party drug. While movies like Scarface made cocaine seem like a stimulant used by high powered businessmen, many people were realizing that a cocaine addiction could be damaging enough to require a trip to a drug rehab clinic. Unfortunately, cocaine has retained its glamorous notoriety even after sordid stories such as child actress Drew Barrymore admission to a substance abuse treatment center for cocaine addiction.


The Crack Epidemic Spreads Across the Nation

Powdered cocaine is rather pricey, so drug dealers realized that they could convert the powder to a solid form of cocaine called “crack.” This new form of cocaine was far cheaper and was often smoked instead of snorted. This lead to an influx of people ending up at a substance abuse center because they were addicted to the more potent and easily obtainable form of cocaine. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, this form of cocaine was linked to an increase in weapons arrests, children in foster care, incarcerations for drug charges, and higher rates of people in a substance addiction facility. The crack epidemic has slowed down, but cocaine remains an issue in the modern day.


If you or anyone you know is addicted to cocaine, please call Intervention Association to begin your treatment at a drug rehab clinic.


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