Picture left: The coca plant, Erythroxylon coca.
Britain Home Office has admitted that the street price of both cocaine and heroin has fallen by nearly half in the last ten years, making the most dangerous illegal drugs cheaper than they have ever been. Cocaine is now being sold for as little as £20 a gram in some parts of the country with the most common price for the drug is £40 per gram. Home Office figures for 1998 show the average price was £77. A gram of heroin can now be bought for as little as £25, with the average price somewhere between £40 and £50 per gram. In 1998, the average was £74. Although cocaine is still seen by some as a drug for celebrities and the wealthy, the fall in price has made it affordable for more drug users.
Picture left: Bricks of cocaine, a form in which it is commonly transported.
Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 20 minutes to several hours, depending upon the dosage of cocaine taken, purity, and method of administration. The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and euphoria. The euphoria is sometimes followed by feelings of discomfort and depression and a craving to experience the drug again. Sexual interest and pleasure can be amplified. Side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and impotence, which usually increases with frequent usage.
Accordingly, and with a little mathematical jiggery-pokery, it can be calculated that if a gram contains 10 to 20 lines, users can get a hit for as little as £1, with the average price lying between £2 and £4. The average price of a pint of lager is £2.75, with a glass of plonk costing around £3.50. Those of you who are no longer prepared to stump £2.75 for a pint, but don't fancy cocaine as an alternative stimulant, should note that the average price of heroin has also fallen - down to 40 to 50 quid for a gram from the 1998 average of £74. It equates to less than a pound per line of the drug - cheaper than a cup of coffee or a bag of chips. The price has been driven down because the drug is thought to be more readily available and because of more competition among dealers.
Rolled up banknotes, hollowed-out pens, cut straws, pointed ends of keys, specialized spoons, long fingernails, and (clean) tampon applicators are often used to insufflate cocaine. Such devices are often called "tooters" by users. The cocaine typically is poured onto a flat, hard surface (such as a mirror, CD case or book) and divided into "bumps", "lines" or "rails", and then insufflated.
An army of drug mules(A mule or courier is someone who smuggles something with him or her
DrugScope chief executive Martin Barnes said it does suggest that law enforcement activity has had little impact on supply and availability. British youngsters are also being targeted by illegal online pharmacies selling heroin substitute. The unlicensed pharmacies sell methadone, codeine and other stimulants without prescription. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) report backs the decision to upgrade cannabis to Class B because of fears over the harm to mental health of the strong 'skunk' variety.
In 1863, Mariani started marketing a wine called Vin Mariani, which had been treated with coca leaves, to become cocawine. The ethanol in wine acted as a solvent and extracted the cocaine from the coca leaves, altering the drink’s effect. It contained 6 mg cocaine per ounce of wine, but Vin Mariani, which was to be exported, contained 7.2 mg per ounce to compete with the higher cocaine content of similar drinks in the United States. A “pinch of coca leaves” was included in John Styth Pemberton's original 1886 recipe for Coca-Cola, though the company began using decocainized leaves (a process which removes all the cocaine and ecgonine from them. ) in 1906 when the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed. The actual amount of cocaine that Coca-Cola contained during the first twenty years of its production is practically impossible to determine. The main use of these decocainized leaves is to flavor Coca-Cola. Coca coke & tea would be illegal in the US except if it is made from decocainized leaves. Coca herbal infusion (also referred to as Coca tea) is used in coca-leaf producing countries much as any herbal medicinal infusion would elsewhere in the world. The free and legal commercialization of dried coca leaves under the form of filtration bags to be used as "coca tea" has been actively promoted by the governments of Peru and Bolivia for many years as a drink having medicinal powers. Visitors to the city of Cuzco in Peru, and La Paz in Bolivia are greeted with the offering of coca leaf infusions (prepared in tea pots with whole coca leaves) purportedly to help the newly-arrived traveler overcome the malaise of high altitude sickness. The effects of drinking coca tea are a mild stimulation and mood lift. It does not produce any significant numbing of the mouth nor does it give a rush like snorting cocaine.
A problem with illegal cocaine use, especially in the higher volumes used to combat fatigue (rather than increase euphoria) by long-term users is the risk of ill effects or damage caused by the compounds used in adulteration. The normal adulterants for profit are inactive sugars, usually mannitol, creatine or glucose, so introducing active adulterants gives the illusion of purity and to 'stretch' or make it so a dealer can sell more product than without the adulterants.
Cocaine is a potent central nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 20 minutes to several hours, depending upon the dosage of cocaine taken, purity, and method of administration. The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and euphoria. The euphoria is sometimes followed by feelings of discomfort and depression and a craving to experience the drug again. Sexual interest and pleasure can be amplified. Side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and impotence, which usually increases with frequent usage. With excessive or prolonged use, the drug can cause itching, tachycardia, hallucinations, and paranoid delusions. Overdoses cause tachyarrhythmias and a marked elevation of blood pressure. These can be life-threatening, especially if the user has existing cardiac problems
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