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Top 5 Facts about Cocaine

VOICE OVER: Chris Masson
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Woo, today we're looking at cocaine the wonder drug the drug that gives users lots and lots of energy and increased confidence and all sorts of other stuff and oh man this list is gonna be awesome I could do this forever let's do 100 facts! Welcome to Watchmojo's Top 5 Facts. Today we're looking at the most mind-energizing facts about cocaine, one of the Western world's most popular recreational drugs, and one that has a surprising amount of depth behind it.

Special thanks to our user Prodgaming for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript

Top 5 Facts About Cocaine


Woo, today we're looking at cocaine the wonder drug the drug that gives users lots and lots of energy and increased confidence and all sorts of other stuff and oh man this list is gonna be awesome I could do this forever let's do 100 facts! Welcome to Watchmojo's Top 5 Facts. Today we're looking at the most mind-energizing facts about cocaine, one of the Western world's most popular recreational drugs, and one that has a surprising amount of depth behind it.

#5: A Lot of Crap Goes Into Making Cocaine


No, not literal crap. Although I'm sure the addicts wouldn't mind if there was a little sprinkle here and there. Sulfuric acid is used to soak the cocoa leaves, and acetone, ether, and hydrochloric acid are used in the cocaine-making process. You can be sure that criminal empires aren't safely disposing of the waste in biohazard containers and hazmat suits. This wreaks absolute havoc on the environment, with one estimate stating that 200 million gallons of kerosene, 8 million of solvent, and 2 million of sulfuric acid are soaked into the soil and dumped into the rivers and streams of Colombia every year.

#4: Smoking Cigarettes Primes Your Brain for Cocaine Addiction


Have you tried to get hooked on cocaine, but just can’t seem to make the habit stick? Try cigarettes! If you already do smoke, your brain is primed and ready to go for a debilitating cocaine addiction. Research published in "Science Translational Medicine" shows that the nicotine in cigarettes makes specific changes in the brain which allows for a quicker and easier addiction to cocaine. This study’s findings help explain existing data showing that cocaine and cigarette users are more likely to become addicted to the white stuff than are non-smoking snorters.

#3: It Has Quite a Racist History Behind It


Oh boy, I think an old-timey racism warning is in order. Of course, cocaine illegal for many reason, but the racist rhetoric around its use probably helped ensure its prohibition, which began in 1915. In the early 1900s, African Americans were being blamed for many things due to cocaine. One doctor spread panic through various publications, including The New York friggin’ Times, saying crazy, but at time, credible-sounding stuff like "Sexual desires are increased and perverted, peaceful negroes become quarrelsome.” He said that cocaine basically makes its user unstoppable and so police officers in the south had began upgrading the caliber of their weapons because, quote, “the cocaine n-word is sure hard to kill,” unquote. More recent research (along with research from that era) has shown that cocaine use at the time was actually lower among African-Americans than among white Americans, despite what the good doctor claimed.

#2: A Vaccine for Addicts Is On the Way


A recent report in the journal "Molecular Pharmaceuticals" reports that a vaccine for addicts is currently being developed. The researchers modified a bacterial protein called flagellin in order to boost the immune system's defensive response against cocaine when it enters the body. This in turn can dull the drug's psychotropic effects, and has reacted positively in test mice. Basically, if this were developed into a vaccine for humans, it would mean a hopeless addict could take it, and then cocaine would have little to no effect on him.

#1: Coke Was Basically Tylenol 120 Years Ago


Today people literally fight wars for and against the stuff, but it used to be only a pharmacy away. The German pharmaceutical company Merck began producing about 50 grams of cocaine a year in the 1860s and 70s, but by 1885, they were producing 83,000 kilograms a year– about 91 tons. This was because cocaine was prescribed for everything. Toothache? Rub some coke on it. Fatigue? There’s a powdery miracle drug for that! Depressed? Well, the US Surgeon General says it will work for that, and there’s no danger of addiction! Sigmund Freud concurs. The preeminent father of psychoanalysis published a long-ass paper on how great the stuff was, and started using it a lot. To his surprise, it became a problem.

So, what do you think? Can cigarettes really be a gateway drug? For more miracle cure top tens and hard to kill top fives, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com.


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