Please respond to the following discusssion post 1 one page with in text citatio
Please respond to the following discusssion post 1 one page with in text citations and references.
Cocaine, a drug synthesized from the leaves of the Erythoxylon coca plant, has been popular in the United States since the 1980s. The first record of cocaine synthesis was in 1860 by Albert Niemann, when the active ingredient of cocaine was empirically identified. From then on, scientists experimented with the substance to find medical uses for the new substance. It wasn’t until the late 1880s that William Halstead displayed the efficacy of cocaine as a nerve block agent during surgical procedures. Since then, although cocaine has been classified as an illicit substance for the general public, it is still used in surgical procedures involving the ears, nose, and throat anatomic regions. Despite cocaine being a prohibited substance, illegal importation of the drug into the United States has caused a nationwide epidemic of cocaine addiction. As a result, from 2019 to 2021, the death toll from cocaine-related overdoses spiked by 54%, with over 24,486 reported deaths. Cocaine use during pregnancy represents a significant public health crisis as cocaine drastically affects the viability of pregnancies. Cocaine use during pregnancy can cause placental abruption, premature births, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and post-partum cognitive and motor developmental delays. Additionally, of the 7,642 pregnancy-associated deaths from 2017-2020, 1,249 were due to drug overdoses. In most cases, cocaine was the causative agent. Cocaine has many methods for administration, including smoking, injection, oral use, and inhalation. The drug moves through the blood and acts on the neural synapses within the nervous system, blocking the removal of dopamine from the synapse; this leads to a general sense of euphoria within the user. Cocaine is then broken down by the enzymes present in the blood and liver before being excreted in the urine in its metabolite forms.
I chose to research this drug because it seems to be very popular in today’s society. However, I before doing this project, I was very unfamiliar with the drug and its effects on the body. My only real exposure to cocaine misuse was through pop-culture mediums such as movies and games. Therefore, I thought that this project was the perfect opportunity for me to understand better what cocaine is as well as the public health problems that it poses to the United States.
One of the main things that I learned about cocaine was how short the half-life of the drug is. After understanding how the drug is metabolized, it was surprising that cocaine remains in a user’s system for only around four days or less. This sheds light on how individuals who use cocaine can pass drug testing for work, school, or athletics. If they can time out their last use before their drug test, they have a very high possibility of passing a urine drug test with relative ease. Additionally, I found it interesting that there were multiple methods of administration of cocaine. I was under the false assumption that cocaine could only be inhaled through the nasal passage. However, my research showed that this substance could be smoked, injected, and even rubbed on the user’s gums.