· History of cocainOne of the most widely used illegal drugs in the United States is cocaine, and like many other drugs, it comes from a plant that has been used for thousands of years in other parts of the world. Cocaine comes from the coca leaf, a plant that has a long history in spiritual rituals.
Coca and Andean Indians
It used to be that in the Andean Indian culture, the coca plant was linked to a sacred goddess. These cultures believed that they had to please the coca goddess in order to have a successful harvest. The leaves of the coca plant were chewed or smoked to help these natives connect with spiritual beings, as well as provide magical protection and powers.
Traditionally, coca leaves were chewed only by the leaders or royalty. Over time, however, even lower classes were encouraged to chew the leaves to experience the benefits. When the Spanish invaded the Incas land, they tried to outlaw the chewing of coca leaves. But it soon became apparent that the Incas worked better when they were given leaves to chew. Coca leaves give the user a boost of energy, as well as prevents hunger. Mood stabilizes and stamina also increases in those that chew coca leaves.
First use of cocaine
Cocaine was first extracted from the coca plant in the 1860s. At first it seemed to be a miracle drug that was useful in treating depression and morphine addiction, and it was prescribed by many physicians for various reasons. However, it became evident that there were some serious problems with using cocaine, and it decreased naturally in popularity by the 1920s.· Current trendsAccording to NSDUH, current cocaine use gradually declined between 2003 and 2008 among people aged 12 or older (from 2.3 million to 1.9 million). In 2009, significant declines from 2008 were also seen in past-year use of cocaine among 12th-graders and in current cocaine use among 10th- and 12th-graders in the MTF survey. Another positive long-term decline (from 2004 to 2009)…