classification of drugs >>> cocaine >>>
From coca to cocaine
The coca plants grow in places from 500 to 2000m above sea level, mostly on the east slopes of the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. There were attempts for its cultivation in Indonesia and even in the Caucasus, but at the moment the Andes are practically the only area in the world, where the coca grows in a mass.
The leaves of the coca contain 0,5 –1% alkaloids, mostly cocaine. Its
extraction is done in big containers with diluted sulfuric acid, were
the leaves are crushed with legs. In this way alkaloids penetrate into
the solution. From there cocaine paste is extracted with organic solvents.
This paste finally turns into crystal cocaine-hydrochloride, which is
the basic market product. The illegal production of almost all produced
cocaine in South America is done in Colombia under the control of several
mighty narco-cartels. Cocaine is also produced legally for medical purposes
and after the extraction Coca-Cola is produced from its leaves.
Except the properties of a stimulant, cocaine is also a local anaesthetic; it blockades the passing of the sensations of pain into the peripheral nerves and this is the reason for which it is used for local anaesthetic in surgery.
Cocaine (known also as coke, snow, girl, lady), which is sold illegally is not very pure; it is usually mixed with sugar; novocaine, some other local anaesthetic or amphetamine are also added. The price of cocaine varies about 100 $/g. The basic way of cocaine absorption is sniffing. When it is taken orally, cocaine is less effective because it is quickly broken down in the organism. Cocaine can be injected subcutaneously or venously, as the latter is much more dangerous. The popular in the recent years “crack” is also very dangerous; it is a cocaine-basis and it is obtained usually in domestic settings from hydrochloride and sodium bicarbonate. The “crack” is volatile enough and it can be smoked. In the countries from the Andes’ region cocaine-paste is smoked, which is much more harmful, because it contains many admixtures.