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Treatment And Prevention

Breaking a cocaine dependency is difficult, and treatment is costly and prolonged, involving treatment centers and support groups. Since addiction is a chronic disorder, the detoxification process is just the first step, and there is no final cure. Remissions can be expected, and the goal of treatment may have to be the control and reduction of use and dependency.

Prevention efforts in the United States have for a long time been focused primarily on stopping cocaine imports from South America, mainly Peru and Colombia, and these efforts have had some success in breaking up the powerful and wealthy cartels that control the cultivation and trade of the coca leaf. However, these producers are still sending coca to the United States and continue to seek other markets worldwide for their deadly crop.

Studies have shown that a recent decline of cocaine usage in the United States is directly correlated to educational programs targeting young people and aiming to enhance their understanding of the dangers of cocaine use. Such educational programs are more likely to lead to results than interdiction efforts and provide the best hope of curtailing the current epidemic of cocaine abuse and preventing similar epidemics in the future.



Flynn, John C. Cocaine. New York: Carol Publishing, 1991.

Gold, Mark S. Cocaine. New York: Plenum Publishing, 1993.

Rice-Licare, Jennifer, and Katharine Delaney-McLaughlin. Cocaine Solutions. Binghamton: Haworth Press, 1990.

Washton, Arnold M., and Mark S. Gold. Cocaine: A Clinician's Handbook. New York: Guilford Press, 1987.

Jordan P. Richman


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—A nitrogen-based chemical, usually of plant origin, also containing oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Many are very bitter and may be active if ingested. Common alkaloids include nicotine, caffeine, and morphine.


—Stimulant drugs discovered in the 1930s that were widely prescribed as diet pills and became a staple in the illegal drug traffic.


—A drug that is supposed to stimulate sexual impulses.

Coca leaves

—Leaves of the coca plant that were chewed by the Incas and are still used by farmers of certain regions in South America.


—A smokable and inexpensive form of pure cocaine sold in the form of small pellets, or "rocks."


—The neurotransmitter believed to be responsible for the cocaine high.


—Feelings of elation and well being produced by drugs such as cocaine.


—Processes used to free drugs such as cocaine from their hydrochloride base.

Local anesthetic

—A pain killer that acts on a particular site of the body without affecting other sites or causing unconsciousness.


—The white powder of cocaine hydrochloride that is inhaled through the nostrils. This way of taking cocaine is called "snorting" and was popular in the 1970s before the advent of crack cocaine.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceCocaine - History, Introduction To The West, Coca-cola, Early Drug Laws, After The 1960s