Before Illegality and Consequences of Possession: A History of Cocaine Use

cocaine useFrom coca wines to medicinal solutions, cocaine use was practiced long before attaining the banned status that it holds today. It once had shared properties with coffee, with which its use has been strongly linked. Benefits such as medicinal purposes, alleviation for pain and ailments, aphrodisiacs, and anesthetics have also been widely related to cocaine use.

A drug that is now classified under the Schedule II category in the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, cocaine is most known for its notorious addictive and damaging properties.

Before Cocaine Use Became Illegal

Cocaine use is now infamous as being illegal. Historically, however, cocaine held a different kind of notoriety, one where it was seen as an effective anesthetic for medical procedures.

Among various indigenous native people of what is now the US, cocaine was used for its stimulant properties, which fought exhaustion and hunger. More surprising is cocaine’s role in helping to relieve the effects of eye surgery, one of the most painful procedures of earlier times. Cocaine use has also been prominent in eye surgery after Carl Koller, a German ophthalmologist, found out about its anesthetic effectiveness. Since then, cocaine use has proliferated, unfortunately not always for the best.

The Shift of Cocaine Use from Useful to Illegal

Nowadays, possession of cocaine can put a person in a lot of serious trouble, especially with the authorities. Even though the 1800s saw cocaine as a useful substance, there have been efforts expended in the United States in terms of its suppression and control of use. As early as 1907, cocaine was grouped along with various other substances, including heroin, opium, morphine, alcohol, cannabis and chloroform, and products that had such contents had to disclose the materials included in any goods or products.

Moderate use of the substance was no longer the reality in 1912, when fatal poisoning from cocaine use for an entire year totaled a body count of 5,000. With the increase of usage, from endurance enhancement to pain relief, cocaine use spiraled to an all-time high, leading to The Harrison Narcotic Tax Act in March 1915. This act then regulated and added tax for substances such as opium, heroin and cocaine.

Ultimately, in the 1970s, full restriction of cocaine use was put in effect when the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was passed, hence regulating most of the drug substances available.

Legal Talk: Consequences of Cocaine Possession

cocaine useEach area and country has a specific set of rules for dealing with possession of cocaine, and it is also dependent on the amount that is found on an individual. For instance, possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine can include imprisonment for up to 40 years, a possibility of imprisonment for life for any relation of the drug use to death or serious injury, or even an extremely high fine or life imprisonment for a user that has a previous conviction.

When small amounts of cocaine are found on an individual, he or she may be charged with civil penalties, which may include a $10,000 fine for one violation. So far, Colombia and Peru are reported to be the biggest growers of coca. While laws are subject to change, the laws in Colombia regarding possession allow for trace amounts, although trafficking is still viewed as illegal. From a legal standpoint, as well as a health and safety perspective, the possession and use of cocaine is simply not worth the risk.

Being significantly underweight increases the risk for a variety of health problems; according to the National Institutes of Health, being underweight is linked with higher premature death rates. It is possible that excessive weight loss in drug users can result from diseases contracted through drug use, such as HIV or hepatitis. If you or someone you know experiences unexplained weight loss of more than 20 pounds, seek medical help as soon as possible to test for life-threatening diseases.

Find Help before Healthy Hunger is Destroyed

Short or long term, there are no effects of cocaine on the human body that are considered positive or beneficial. The only way to avoid excessive weight loss while abusing drugs is to abstain from using drugs altogether, but keep in mind that once addiction has set in, there is excellent, qualified help available to guide cocaine users back to a normal weight and healthy lifestyle.

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