Albert D Arvallo Ronald Ross Watson

COCAINE The abuse of cocaine has become a major public-health problem in the United States since the 1970s. During that period it emerged from relative obscurity, described by experts as a harmless recreational drug with minimal toxicity. By the mid-1980s, cocaine use had increased substantially and its ability to lead to drug taking at levels that caused severe medical and psychological problems was obvious. Cocaine (also known as "coke," "snow," "lady," "CRACK" and "ready rock''), is an ALKALOID with both local anesthetic and Psychomotor Stimulant properties. It is generally taken in binge cycles, with periods of hours to days in which users take the drug repeatedly, alternating with periods of days to weeks when no cocaine is used. Many users are recalcitrant to treatment, and the introduction of substantial criminal penalties associated with its possession and sale have not yet been effective in reducing its prevalence of heavy use. In fact, although occasional use of cocaine diminished somewhat by the early 1990s, heavier use did not.

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