Physiological Psychology PSY 350
Professor Cindi-Marie Willoughby
What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “cracking up”? Usually one thinks of laughter and good times. Well, let me give you another scenario that isn’t quite so pleasant. Cracking up also refers to the abuse of crack cocaine. Even though cocaine was once used for medicinal purposes, crack cocaine abuse has been the cause of many deaths. Since crack cocaine abuse causes respiratory and cardiac problems, drug related deaths are more prevalent in poverty stricken, low income areas where there is a lower level of health care. Research shows that many addicts use the drug to escape their reality of living in these types of areas. MEDICAL USE:
Cocaine’s medical usefulness was not fully recognized until Carl Koller used it to anesthetize the cornea of the eye. Over the next 20 years, cocaine became a popular medicine and tonic in Europe and America, where it was credited with curing a wide variety of diseases and illnesses. However, reports soon started to appear claiming that cocaine was a drug with a high social abuse potential and in America it seemed to underpin growing crime figures. As a result, cocaine was misclassified as a narcotic and its use was restricted to specific surgical procedures and medicinal preparations. Today, cocaine and its derivatives are still popular local anesthetics in operations of the ear, nose and throat and it is also used in a preparation given to alleviate the pain (physical and mental) of terminal diseases. Although cocaine has a high public profile as a drug of addictive potential, this drug has also had a long and distinguished history as a medicine and local anesthetic. The legitimate uses of cocaine exacerbate the problems of controlling this substance of abuse and should provide a stimulus for generating local anesthetics that lack addictive potential (Coward & Bain, 1989). DESCRIPTION:
Cocaine is a...