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Chapter 6

PS268 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Coca Wine, Sympathomimetic Drug, Local Anesthetic

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Bruce Mc Kay

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Drugs and Behaviour Chapter 6
o Powerful CNS stimulant
Creates pleasure, increases alertness and decreases appetite and need for sleep
o History
Traced to Inca Empire in Peru use of coca
Drug provides them freedom from fatigue
Adding calcified lime to raise alkalinity increase extraction of cocaine
Coca was treated as money before the Spanish conquered
o Coca wine
Used extract in many products
Lozenge, teas, wines
Early version of coca cola
o Lifted spirits, freed them from fatigue, gave them good feeling
o Local anaesthesia
Introduced cocaine as local anaesthetic for eye surgery
Freud aware of pain killing properties
Koller found tissue-numbing capabilities
Used as local anaestheticfor many different types of surgery
o Early psychiatric uses
Freud studied its use as treatment medication in variety of psychiatric ailments
Recommended as treatment for morphine dependence
After a bad experience with a patient, Freud opposed used of cocaine in treatment
o Legal controls on cocaine
Little concern in Canada given until end of 1960s
Peter Bourne recommended that if cocaine was used in moderation, it would not be
detrimental to the body
Abuse potential of snorted cocaine lower than smoked or IV cocaine use
Before 1985, cocaine use were for higher class members of society
After mid 1980s cocaine became cheaper, so easier access
1986 congressional elections
Cocaine use was widespread
Caused people to engage in violent behaviour
Produced unparalleled dependency, nearly impossible to overcome
Drug regulations covered by controlled drugs and substances act
Classified into schedule I
o Supplies of illicit cocaine in Canada
Colombia the largest cultivator of coca bush
Price and availability of coca determined by local politics than by DEA’s eradication and
interdiction efforts
Mexico plays a large role in transporting cocaine to Canada
Major ports of entry are in BC, ON and QC
Land mode ranked primary smuggling method
Liquid cocaine most commonly smuggled on airplanes
Pearson most frequent point of seizure
QC/ON supplies users in east coast
Cocaine from pacific distributed across west coast
Readily available across Canada

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Drugs and Behaviour Chapter 6
Street prices highest in Toronto
o Cocaine, crime and ethnicity
Canada does not keep racial characteristics of federal cocaine offenders
Large portion of minorities incarcerated compared to Caucasian offenders
Larger proportion of black offenders incarcerated for robbery, Asians for drug related offences
o Pharmacology of cocaine
Best known through world because of its alkaloids, which include cocaine
2-3 metres, straight branches, thin/opaque/ovular/green tinted leaves
o Small flowers
500 kg of leaves processing results in 1kg of cocaine
Chemical structure
Structure does not resemble any natural neurotransmitter
Does not help to explain how drug works on brain
o Forms of cocaine
Coca leaves mixed with solvent kerosene or gasoline
After mixing, soaking and mashing, excess liquid coca paste
Often mixed with tobacco and smoked
Can also be made into cocaine hydrochloride salt that can be mixes easily in water
o Typically snorted
Freebasing extracting it into a volatile organic solvent , very dangerous because combo of
fire and fumes highly explosive
Mixing cocaine with household chemicals and drying it resulted in smokeable cocaine
o Mechanisms of action
More we learn, more complex the drug’s actions
Blocks reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin causing prolonged effect of these
Normal communication process
Dopamine released by neuron into synapse, bind to dopamine receptors then
If cocaine present
Attaches to dopamine transporter and blocks normal recycling process
Results in buildup of dopamine in synapse, contributes to pleasurable effects of
o Absorption and elimination
Chewing and sucking leaves allows it to be slowly absorbed through mucous membranes
Reslts n slower onset of effects and lower blood levels than snorting
Intent to get fine powder on the nasal mucosa
o Absorbed very rapidly and reaches brain quickly
IV Very high concentration rapidly to brain for brief effect
Smoking is preferred as it is less invasive and onset effects just as fast
o Medical use of cocaine
Occasionally used as local anaesthetic but has been replaced with less toxic substances
Local anaesthesia
Has ability to number area to which it is applied
Use of cocaine as anaesthetic because of apparent safety/effectiveness
Replaced in 1905 by procaine (Novocain)
May other local anaesthetics synthesized that have little or no ability to stimulate CNS
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