6 things that are useful to know about cocaine
Cocaine has one of the brightest pages in the General history of drugs. This reptile is not cheap, a top layer of glue. At the time, he was extremely popular as a healthy alternative to morphine. Cocaine was treated for morphine addiction. But did not last very long legal song of this substance. Very soon he gained a reputation as the highest quality and one of the most dangerous kind of drug.
Currently, this white powder is regarded as a pastime of the rich guys on wall street. Among ordinary people he is losing popularity every year. There are statistics (though in the States), which says that since the beginning of zero the number of people who use cocaine has dropped by two million. No, they are not dead. Thought only of the living, given the mortality. Maybe the cocaine will still be an explosion in popularity, but even now, when he is in absolute disgrace, he remains one of the most intriguing drugs from the point of view of history.
1. Cocaine is a very, very long story
Cocaine in its present form is extracted from Coca leaves. Chewing these leaves, apparently, it was part of some South American cultures for centuries, especially in the area of the Andes. The traditional method of chewing is called acullico. People ate a large layer of the leaf, which is chewed for many hours. As a result, they received a mild stimulating effect, increasing endurance. These balls can be called a unique kind of pain. However, there are some scientists who believe that the history of using cocaine is much older than we think. Among them is Dr. Raymond Golberg, who notes that traces of this substance among an Andean people who lived in the 5th century ad. Stocks of the Coca leaf, indeed, was found at the burial site.
Thus, Coca came from the ancient world, strange and incomprehensible to modern man. It was reinterpreted by the Europeans, who left behind a lot of interesting letters (1500-1600 years), told me about the amazing properties of this plant in suppressing toothache.
2. Wine with cocaine on the approval of the Pope
Everyone knows that cocaine was part of Coca-Cola and this drink is recommended as a remedy for headaches until the late 19th century. But he has one merit, namely, cocaine was an important ingredient that was included in one of the most famous wines of the 1800-ies. This wine called Mariani and was created by a man named Alberto Mariani. He decided to blend the good old Bordeaux with Coca leaves.
Mariani wine was a real hit. Here are just a few famous fans: Queen Victoria, king of Spain, Auguste Rodin, Thomas Edison, Ulysses S. Grant. This drink has even received approval from the Vatican. Pope Leo XIII awarded the Mariani, and even participated in its advertising campaign. In fact, the Mariani wine was not just cool in its time, it served as the inspiration for the creation of the original Coca-Cola.
3. Powder cocaine and mustard gas created by one person
The powder is extracted the alkaloid from the Coca leaf, discovered by the German chemist albert Niemann. For this he received a doctorate, among other things. We thank him for it the name cocaine. The name picked is good, you can say a hundred times, and it does not even begin to pall. He first tested his discovery on himself. Put under the tongue and got a very fast local numbness.
Young Neman, unfortunately, has created another thing that we can’t justify. And it’s worse than drugs. It is — mustard gas mustard gas that was used as a biochemical weapon during the First world war. It caused a lot of suffering, including among Russian soldiers. When Neiman died, without the influence of experiences with imprit, cocaine has left in free swimming. Chemists just picked up this powder because I thought it an excellent anesthetic. Subsequently, the cocaine has affected many aspects of twentieth century history. For example, it influenced the birth of psychoanalysis. Freud loved to feel his effect on himself and his friends, conducted with powder experiments in 1884.
4. Its effect on the brain similar to the first stages of love
Watch the Ted talk? Once there was a very interesting presentation by anthropologist Helen Fisher. He talked about cocaine addiction and that it sounds an awful lot like our first love. The anthropologist found a lot in common. In the brain of people in love is literally the same process that in the brain of cocaine addicts: an insane amount of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which creates an intense feeling of satisfaction. It makes sense, because first love is always exciting and rarely amenable to logic.
5. The joy of chemistry
When cocaine enters the human body, we experience a series of neurochemical reactions, mainly in our brains. Many aspects of mood and brain function depend on the interaction of chemical compounds: chemicals released into the brain, produce their effect and then are absorbed or removed from circulation by its imposition on particular receptors. Cocaine blocks the reabsorption of certain chemical — dopamine, which is responsible for pleasure and euphoria by activating the brain cells, stopping the operation of the receptors.
As a result of such «swing» the level of dopamine takes on a giant scale. Receptors can not cope with the suction, because people and feel absolute euphoria.
6. Where does the addictive
As the cocaine really addictive? If we consider the neurobiology, then when taking cocaine, we observed an intense flow of pleasure in the brain, interference with the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for motivation and decision-making. In the journal «Psychiatric times» in 2007 he published a study that showed that there is a serious relationship between this prefrontal area and drug. In 2011, found that the structure of the prefrontal cortex cocaine addict is fundamentally different from the structure that is the place to be other people. This is due to the fact that this cortex is responsible for weighing option, decision-making, as previously mentioned. Cocaine, in violation of this area physically, forces to use cocaine more often. Cocaine seriously affects memory. Pleasant memories of the drug can be incredibly powerful. If knowledge about this part of the brain used in therapy, it could solve the troubles of addicts. But before testing this approach is still very far away.