As we have seen throughout history, drugs have played a significant role in the development of subcultures and have even initiated wars. During Ancient Greece, scholars and authors commented about the psychotropic qualities of drugs (including the opium poppy and marijuana), and barbarian tribes in Eurasia were particularly infamous for ingesting hash to heighten their abilities in battle. Centuries later, from 1839 to 1860, the British government initiated two full-scale wars against China over the import of opium to England and other countries in the Empire. Drugs have certainly held a “unique” aspect in the world, and the infamous drug called cocaine is no exception. Let’s take a look at the long white, powdery trail of this addictive substance’s influence throughout history.

Coca Plant

For thousands of years, native tribes inhabiting regions of the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Mountains tended to the coca plant and harvested its leaves, which they would chew to achieve a rush of energy (a “high”). Coca also held religious significance to the Inca people, who used it for spiritual rituals. In 1551, the Catholic Church began to view coca is an inhibition to the Christian faith and attempted to ban the plant, to no avail.

Cocaine Is Born

SNIFFING THROUGH THE SMELLY HISTORY OF COCAINEIn 1860, Albert Niemen (a German chemist) took a sample of coca leaves from the Amazon and successfully synthesized the first portion of cocaine in history. After sampling the white powder, Niemen reported numbness on his tongue. At the same time, a French chemist named Angelo Mariani developed Vin Mariani, a concoction of coca leaves and Bordeaux wine.

Interestingly, an Austrian ophthalmologist named Carl Koller began using cocaine as an anesthetic for eye surgery. According to Koller, cocaine was a more effective drug than ether and chloroform, which was notorious for making patients wretch and vomit. Even Sigmund Freud (a father of psychology) praised cocaine when he was 28 years old.

Soda Pop and Crack

In 1886, American pharmacist John Stith Pemberton founded a company that infused cocaine in its sugary syrup, which was later infused with soda in 1899. The name of the company was Coca-Cola, which eventually became one of the titans of the modern beverage industry. In 1903, the company removed all traces of cocaine from its drinks out of response due to public backlash

After a string of crack house incidences in the mid-1970s, the United States experienced its first Crack Epidemic in the 1980s. From 1985 to 1989, the rate of cocaine use skyrocketed from 4.2 million people to a staggering 5.8 million people. Meanwhile, the City of New York confirmed that 60% of drug-related crimes were related to crack-cocaine. Only with the onset of the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act did the War on Cocaine face stronger adversity from the government.

Always remember that mind-altering drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance abuse disorder or addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug addiction and substance abuse troubles today.