A Brief History/Timeline of Cocaine Addiction

In a world addicted to speed, it’s easy to mesh all of life’s moments into this justified blur of doing what it takes

Mar 12

In a world addicted to speed, it’s easy to mesh all of life’s moments into this justified blur of doing what it takes to get by. Some with more rational motives than others, but nonetheless a rush to nowhere where you must run twice as fast just to stay in place. As Brooks Hatlen once wrote, “the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry”. Unfortunately, not all can keep up with the hustle bustle of what has become a tortoise and hare race. Life’s a ravenous beast that feeds off of cash and corpse- much like an addiction.

While the world keeps spinning in haste without a slight in the groove, there are those that struggle to stay on-beat like addicts/alcoholics. Those with alcoholic thinking are struck with a minor handicap that results in trouble brewing if they cannot tame their disease, and recovery is usually their only salvation. Regardless, most afflicted with the mental illness will create unintentional misery just from trying to keep up with everyone else. Manic preoccupation will sneak up just like that with dependence never too far behind. It’s usually somewhere between this not wanting to be chewed up and spit out by the beast, and the awakening of an obsession, that the true alcoholic in us is awoken.      

Alcoholism is a mental disease that has been fought for years on many different fronts; ie: political, scientific, and civilian. The War on Drugs, for example, is an unofficial war against narcotics, unofficially due to the rise of addiction numbers. Well that and the unofficial greed in the eyes of the dealer, but I digress. The point is that whether it shows up in gambling, drinking, or cocaine addiction, alcoholic thinking is everywhere and has put its curve into much of the past.

Coca Origins

One of the United States’ problems, and much of the world, as a matter of fact, is cocaine addiction. Cocaine has been around for thousands of years essentially. The coca leaf was discovered to have “healing effects” when used in medicine for certain ailments. The numbing qualities of the leaf when chewed would provide energy or at the very least could be used as an analgesic for certain practices. Indigenous tribes in South America did this for years until the mid to late 1800s when a few scientists began doing their own studies of the already popular and taxed coca leaf.

By the late 1800s, the coca leaf had its first molecularization and began its pathway into the world of western medicine. Before then, the seemingly harmless plant was only known to a few other foreign countries. After the western exploration into the coca leaf, all bets were off the table. The once medically inclined organic substance was now beginning its long transformation into cocaine addiction. Soon, cocaine and its many different broken down forms were being used for everything. Medicines were including it for pain, famous beverage companies were claiming it’d help quench your thirst in their drink, individuals everywhere were beginning to see the promising effects of it helping keep you up to speed. From then on out, well into the 20th century, only abuse ensued.           

The War on Drugs

The psychological and physical aspects that take a hold while dealing with cocaine addiction can be very detrimental. Even so, people still ingest the drug thru every channel they can. As the 1900s abused the hell out of cocaine and spawned the beginnings of America’s long cocaine addiction, it wasn’t until the last 40+ years of the century that the substance picked up its pace. As if things weren’t already fast enough.

As the 60s, 70s, and 80s approached, it was becoming apparent that there was beginning to be an issue with the once seemingly innocent narcotic. People were dying from cocaine overdoses on a regular basis as they mixed their choice stimulant with heroin and other hardcore narcotics that cause various forms of heart failure. Among heart failure, some of the fatal symptoms that were occurring everywhere included:

  • Ruptured Aortas
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Risk of Stroke/Brain Damage
  • Inflammation of the Heart Muscle
  • Respiratory Issues

Not only then but these still happen on a daily basis due to cocaine addiction. Things were starting to get serious as the once medically popularized narcotic was now responsible for inclining people to seek medical treatment for specific issues- physical and mental. The United States would see several presidential administrations put focus into preventing the ever-developing cocaine addiction problem, most notably the Nixon and/or Reagan administrations.   

Cocaine Politics

Richard Nixon was known for many of things. We could sort out a whole list of pros and cons as we debate about it all day. Same goes for Ronald Wilson Reagan. However, despite Watergate or Reaganomics, the two would both put much work into the battle against cocaine addiction. Nixon was responsible for starting the infamous “War on Drugs” which was essentially an imaginary war on drug addiction and drug trafficking. He made it aware there was an ongoing problem that needed new laws and increased law enforcement.

Whereas Reagan was President during the crack cocaine epidemic. This man got to sit in the White House while the United States watched a highly infamous drug transform into something of much more addictive potential. Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy coined the phrase “Just say no”, and uneducated response to that of what we know about alcoholic thinking today. To top that off, Reagan and Congress created laws such as the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 to establish a stricter basis behind cocaine and crack cocaine. Such laws have since been reformulated to lessen incarceration due to addiction rates, but the point is that cocaine addiction has waged for as long as man can remember. In the end, alcoholic thinking is alcoholic thinking and it requires recovery before anything is going to get any better.

Speed Kills

Life likes to sneak up on people but cocaine addiction will run up on you as it tackles you to the ground. Don’t allow this overrated stimulant to take control of your life- it’s not worth it in the slightest. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-663-3030 or visit www.pasadenarecoverycenter.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.


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