Sports, Superstars, and Cocaine Addiction


coke-snorting

Soccer fanatics all over the world would have loved to watch Diego Maradona’s skill in the Soccer ground for some more years had it not been for a hydra-headed monster named cocaine overpower Soccer’s most powerful man and end his illustrious career prematurely. Cocaine is the second most popular drug in the U.S plaguing the nation even today.

Cocaine is a crystalline alkaloid obtained from the leaves of the Coca plant. It is highly addictive and its cultivation, possession and distribution are illegal in almost all parts of the world. South American countries are known to grow cocaine in abundance which is then smuggled into the U.S and Europe.

The cocaine market is controlled to a large extent by organized criminal groups. Crack is the street name for cocaine. It contains impurities such as ammonium chloride and sodium bicarbonate. When it is heated it makes a cracking sound and hence the name “crack”.

Routes of intake

Oral or smoking – the users may rub the powder on the gums or put it into cigarette filter and smoke it. Some may also wrap up cocaine in rolling paper and swallow it. This method is known as ‘snow bomb’.

Snorting or Sniffing – This is the most common route of intake of cocaine in the western world.

Injection – The powder is dissolved in water and then injected.

The immediate effects of cocaine are euphoria, reduced fatigue, increased energy and mental alertness. The intensity and duration of the effects depend on the route of intake.

Adverse effects Mood disturbance, irritability, restlessness, increased body temperature, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea are common. Cocaine suppresses appetite making a chronic user malnourished.

Cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies leading to death is one of the serious hazards.

Snorting of the drug leads to loss of olfactory sensation, nosebleed, chronically running nose. Oral intake results in bowel gangrene while injectors are vulnerable to contracting HIV and other blood borne diseases.

If you wish to know more about drug abuse these can be of great help: www.drugabuse.gov and www.nida.nih.gov

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