Now here’s an interesting mix. One normally does not associate cocaine and cola, but the reality is that is where the major leading brand in cola derived its name. Lets start with the dangers of Coke first.
When you think of cocaine, it’s unlikely that you are thinking of this:
Likely the thing that comes to mind is the image of the Miami Vice scene with Italian mobster Tommy importing countless Kilos, rushing to South Beach on his Formula 28′ speedboat with a dual carb Chevy Big Block Motor being chased by coast guards that can barely keep up with the power. Just arriving from Cuba is a fresh shipment of the finest, highest grade Cocaine imaginable and selling it all at unbelievable prices sparking good times at everybody’s night club. Then being later haled as a hero of the Vice Scene Tommy one wrong move and gets nailed by the police, but not for long as he cuts a deal with them enabling him to go free and import hundreds more kilos of Cocaine…right? Maybe? Yea those were the good old ’70s. Those times are long gone and the serious repercussions of using cocaine have surfaced in our society.
Since it’s inception in modern times, the extracted cocaine has become a known commercial drug. Throughout history, it has been used as medicine, tonic, elixir and a host of other odd remedies. It’s analgesic properties were hailed as a remedy from any mouth ailment and helps numb local areas for dental procedures. Indeed, before it was commercialized as a drug, it was first commercialized as a medicine. Only during recent times we have had a huge uptick in illegalusage. Of course, I mean recent by the timeline of the drug itself. It has been around since ancient times and it’s only been commercialized as a drug product since the 20th century. It has remained a very popular recreational drug that steps across all boundaries including ethic, economic, social and political. Legal issues aside cocaine’s main problem is its distribution by cartels and its health effects: addiction potential.
First we are all aware of the extreme violence surrounding the cocaine industry. Because of its illegal status and pricey markup, cocaine persists as a major contributor to the war on drugs. Just like the scenario described with Tommy, this was reality for a portion of the 1970s/80s in Miami. Drug cartels from Cuba were importing massive amounts of the drug making millions in the process. Obviously, this is what made Miami infamous for its Vice Scene. Territory control and violence surrounded this and countless murders happened as a result. Largely, because of prohibition, cocaine has marred the Miami coastline as well as many other areas of the US and around the world. Cocaine distribution is big business for illegal cartels and the Drug War pays homage to this. Both sides receive funding, one from the actual sale and distribution of the drug, the other from federal funding aimed at preventing said distribution. I’m not going into a political rant on what we should do about this problem, but all I can say is that prohibition causes violence and Cocaine is no exception to this. Despite your political views on the Drug War and its policies, the major proponent in this evil is the prohibition itself. The drug is a social problem and should be dealt with accordingly. For a moment, imagine all the violence surrounding cocaine disappear if the Drug War suddenly ended. Perhaps there would be more users and a controlled center of distribution, but there would also be no cartels. Nobody would benefit from the violence it causes because you can operate your business legally. Nonetheless, this may be a distant future for our country to help curb the millions that die from the violence.
On to the health effects of the drug. We all know this is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. Accompanied with euphoria and a feeling of well-being, the rush produced after ingesting cocaine can be intense. Though, long term usage is indicative of addiction and it happens to be a very addictive drug. Withdrawal may be seen as a persistent runny nose, insomnia/oversleeping, lethargy, aches, and overall discomfort. Long term use can be coupled with difficulty doing specific motor tasks like even picking small objects up. You can damage any of the areas that are used for the administration of coke. For example, snorting it can damage nasal passages and the blood brain barrier. In addition to snorting, smoking, injecting and many other delivery methods are present for the user. The obvious physical side effects of smoking are also seen with crack cocaine smoking. In addition to the physiological effects of usage, one can also develop severe kidney dysfunction and a host of other rare auto-immune diseases. Generally speaking, the biggest risk associated with coke usage is addiction. Overdose can also be witnessed, even with first time users. Now, I’m not trying to scare you out of using the drug, or encourage you for that matter, I am simply explaining that the dangers associated with coke usage can be quite high. It has severe implications on one’s body and can literally change your personality, physiology and a host of other bad things.
The dangers of coke are pretty obvious. But what about Coca Cola? It’s seemingly harmless right? It’s just a pop, soda, cola or coke! No matter how you pronounce it, Coca Cola has dominated the soft drink industry for decades. There are so many different variations of coke that is being marketed to everyone: from small children to adults. That refreshing feeling while drinking that Coke is unparalled. Similar to the drug we spoke about above, Coke did at one point contain Cocaine. Hence the name Coca Cola. Instead, they replaced the Cocaine with caffeine in 1903. They still use Coca leaf to flavor the drink, but the cocaine is taken out of the extract. So not so much fun anymore right? Let’s dive right in, what are the dangers of Coca Cola?