Cocaine in Drugs and Society Effects

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What is happening around us.
These are news pieces from the local scene related to the Maltese island and cocaine use, these are meant to show a fragment of the current cocaine situation in our country. The following are just a few stories that made it to the media, but the problem is, by far bigger than what we can imagine. These are just a couple of stories from the year 2010.

Maltese alleged cocaine dealer arrested in Brazil. A Maltese businessman and his girlfriend have been arrested in Brazil after allegedly being caught packing cocaine into air-conditioning units to be exported to the UK. A Brazilian police spokesman told the press that this was a joint operation between the DEA and Brazilian Federal Police. The businessman and his partner are believed to be leaders in a drug smuggling ring between Brazil, Europe and then Malta. (Kurt Sansone, Kurt Bugeja Coster Times of Malta Saturday, 26th June 2010)

Albania seizes drugs, which transited through Malta. A container truck carrying rice from Santa Cruz, Bolivia was being investigated for more than a month this truck passed from Malta and head to Albania which at the port of Durres the Albanian police seized 8kg of cocaine from this container truck. This was the biggest drug bust recorded in Albania valued at around €500,000. The Dutch, Maltese and Albanian police carried out this sting. (Times of Malta Wednesday, 3rd November 2010)

Introduction use and abuse of Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant, which is addictive and powerful. Cocaine is known for its effects on brain. During the 80’s and 90’s cocaine was at the peak of its popularity cause of its extensive use and media exposure, in our country was known as the rich men’s drug. Cocaine is one of the oldest psychoactive substance known to men the earliest documented use of some form of cocaine was around 500 A.D. In South America coca leaves have been chewed for centuries to combat fatigue and hunger (Mind-Altering Drugs: Cocaine, 2000, 2). Cocaine hydrochloride is the purified chemical that is extracted from coca plant and has been abused for over 100 years, for example in the early 1900s a variety of elixirs and tonics that treated various illnesses contained purified cocaine. During the 19th century Pope Leo XIII was known to have used cocaine and advertised it on a poster, in fact the manufacturer of the tonic was awarded a gold medal. The pope also mentioned that he carried the tonic in a personal hipflask to get strength in moments when prayers where insufficient. (The Independent 2 March 2006)

Coca Eryth­roxylum bush grew primarily in South American countries such as Bolivia and Peru, originally pure cocaine was extracted from its leaves. An effort to reduce crops in Peru and Bolivia during the 1990’s led to the rise of the Columbian nation, which became the largest cultivated coca crop. (NIDA)

Nowadays cocaine is considered to be a schedule II drug, that means that it can be legitimately administered by medical practitioner solely for medical purpose like, local anaesthesia for some ear, eye and throat surgeries, but on the other-hand there is a high potential for abuse. (NIDA)

Generally street dealers sell cocaine in the form of white fine crystalline powder. Cocaine has been called a various street names such as “coke” “Charlie” ” flake” “her” “snow” and other names; these names can vary from country to country. On the streets cocaine is known to be mixed with all sorts of substances such as, talcum powder, cornstarch, sugar, paracetamol tablets just to increase the weight and profit. Street dealers also mix it with other active drugs, like procaine (a chemically related local anaesthetic) or amphetamine (stimulant known as speed). (NIDA)...
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