The History of Cocaine and Slang Names for Cocaine

History of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is a strong stimulant drug with a long and complicated history. Cocaine is also one of the most readily available and heavily abused drugs in the United States, as well as worldwide. 

Cocaine is derived from the coco plant, which is usually found in the mountainous regions of South America. Cocaine in its natural form has been used by the native South American tribes for thousands of years. The leaves of the coco plant were chewed, burned, or made into tea in order to provide an energy boost and combat fatigue. The pure form of cocaine hydrochloride was first extracted in the early 1900s and was used medically and recreationally. 

Cocaine Was Originally Thought to be a Miracle Drug

Cocaine was first referred to as a “miracle powder” but medical professionals soon realized that this miracle drug had a dark side. The addictive properties of cocaine were soon found out and doctors began noticing there were moderate to severe side effects from long-term use. Cocaine became illegal for recreational use in 1914. There are some medicinal uses for cocaine but they are highly regulated and it is rare. 

Cocaine use in all forms became rare after it was outlawed in 1914, but it made a comeback decades later in the 1970s and 1980s. Cocaine addiction devastated many communities, particularly in low-income and minority areas. Cocaine addiction became an epidemic, particularly after a cheaper form of cocaine, called “crack cocaine” was developed. 

The Development of Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine can be ingested in several ways and is cheaper and more readily available. The ease of access helped create a vicious cycle of addiction and abuse in communities nationwide. Today, as many as 2 million Americans struggle with cocaine addiction, though those numbers have begun to slow in recent years. 

Why is Cocaine so Addictive?

According to the government research on cocaine addiction, cocaine is particularly addictive because it is so effective at rewiring the brain with speed and efficiency. Cocaine is a stimulant, which means cocaine use triggers the production of pleasure hormones, such as dopamine. The pathways of our brains communicate using dopamine, causing pleasure and euphoria. Cocaine use can overload our neurons, producing extreme highs and low lows. 

Cocaine use causes miscommunication between neurons by causing excessive building up of chemicals. Cocaine use causes an excessive amount of dopamine to be produced, and eventually, the body struggles to produce dopamine without the help of cocaine. This leads to tolerance, which is our body’s inability to maintain normal function without the use of a substance. Once tolerance is reached, we require more and more of a substance, which leads to addiction. 

How is Cocaine Used?

Cocaine is used in a variety of different ways and each way has a different effect on the user. Cocaine can be administered orally, snorted intranasally, “shot” intravenously, or inhaled. Cocaine is perhaps most often used by snorting or “doing lines”. When people snort cocaine, they inhale it in powder form through their nostrils where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. This method provides for one of the quickest “bumps” or highs, although it may not last too long. 

Cocaine powder can also be rubbed on the gums or dissolved in water and injected intravenously. Crack cocaine chunks can be melted down and injected, or crumbled into powder form. IV cocaine use releases the drug directly into the bloodstream and produces a rapid and intense high. 

Cocaine can be smoked and inhaled as well. It is usually burned in powder form in some sort of makeshift “crack pipe”. Smoking crack cocaine can provide a high that rivals iv cocaine use in intensity and speed of onset. This rapid high from smoking and injecting crack cocaine was largely responsible for the cocaine epidemic in the 1980s.   

Because of its extremely addictive properties, cocaine is very difficult to use “recreationally”. Using cocaine in any form can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death. 

General Cocaine Use and Addiction Statistics

According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cocaine use is most common in people between the ages of 18-25. However, nearly every other age group is susceptible to the effects of cocaine addiction. Some other notable cocaine use statistics are as follows:

  • The states where someone is most likely to develop a cocaine addiction are Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, closely followed by Delaware and New York. 
  • Men are almost twice as likely to use cocaine as women, particularly in the 18-25 age demographic. 
  • Cocaine users are actually more likely to come from higher-income brackets, but crack cocaine is generally used by lower-income brackets
  • Caucasians represent the largest ethnic group of cocaine users (2%), followed by Hispanic (1.7%) and African-American (1.5%)
  • People who have attended college for at least one year are almost twice as likely to use cocaine recreationally

Street Names for Cocaine

Cocaine has been a popular drug for decades, and it’s had its fair share of nicknames as well. Some are based on the appearance of cocaine crystals; others refer to what users feel when they take it or how society is affected by the use of this illicit substance.

Cocaine was given many slang terms over time from “coke” in reference to the white powdery form that resembles baking soda grains all the way up to names such as “Snow White” which reflects one type with an especially pure quality or making references about who can afford doing so – like celebrities.

The long history of cocaine use and abuse in our country has led to dealers and users constantly creating new names for the drug in order to stay ahead of DEA agents, police, and rival drug dealers. This has led to hundreds of names for the different types of cocaine that vary by region and method of use.  

Slang Names for Cocaine

Traditional cocaine in powder form can be found by many different names, including:

  • Blow
  • Bump
  • C or Big C
  • Coke
  • Crack
  • Dust
  • Flake
  • Line
  • Nose Candy
  • Pearl
  • Rail
  • Snow
  • Sneeze
  • Sniff
  • Speedball
  • Toot
  • White Rock

Slang Names for Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is also known by some of the following:

  • Black rock
  • Candy
  • Chemical
  • Cookies
  • Dice
  • Gravel
  • Grit
  • Hail
  • Hard rock
  • Jelly beans
  • Nuggets
  • Purple caps
  • Rocks
  • Scrabble
  • Sleet
  • Snow coke
  • Tornado

Gaining familiarity with the street names for various drugs can help parents and loved ones know if their children or friends/family are engaged in drug abuse. It is important for parents to be aware of these ever-changing slang terms in order to understand the temptations faced by many people in today’s society. 

Cultural and Geographic Influences Regarding Slang for Cocaine

In the 1970s, cocaine began to influence many aspects of American society and culture. With its popularity on the rise, it quickly became a popular drug among affluent communities like Wall Street bankers and Hollywood celebrities. Other countries are beginning to impose tougher restrictions on its importation because they know we’ll just find another way if one method becomes too difficult or expensive due to international law enforcement efforts.

Cocaine is the second most popular illegal, recreational drug in America. In fact, it’s so prevalent that according to a study across all 50 states and Washington D.C., nearly half of high school graduates from 1979 have used cocaine recreationally at some point during their lifetime–a figure which reaches 20% for students graduating between 2005-2015. F

More than 20 million Americans have tried coke at least once in their life today as well. This is far higher compared to the rates of other countries with similar populations like Canada (2%), France (1%), and Italy (.4%). 

The most lasting contribution made by these stars from TV series “Miami Vice” was not only an influx of heavy crime but also introduced our current language – now peppered with expressions such as “hooked up.

Is Someone You Love Using Slang for Cocaine? 

Cocaine addiction is no joke, and withdrawing from it without help can be an excruciating experience. But with the trained medical staff at Coastal Detox, you’ll get all of your needs met: insurance coverage (depending on policy), a safe place to go through withdrawal, professional care by licensed therapists for any other issues that have been exacerbated by cocaine usage.

At Coastal Detox we understand how hard quitting cocaine can seem when going through withdrawal or recovery alone. That’s why our team offers comprehensive detox options so you don’t have to do this journey alone during any phase of your rehab process.

Contact our team to learn more about the options available for cocaine detox and addiction treatment. 

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