Cocaine Facts
Cocaine Facts

50 Interesting Cocaine Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published April 1, 2017Updated August 15, 2019
  • Scotland has the highest cocaine use of any other country in the world. One in 40 Scots use the drug, or about 2.4% of the population.[8]
  • Being in love and being high on cocaine activates the same portions of the brain.[7]
  • Karl Koller (1857-1944), an Austrian ophthalmologist, experimented with the anesthetic qualities of cocaine by infamously applying the drug to his own eye and then pricking it with needles.[7]
  • Some users mix cocaine and heroine, which is known as a speedball.[7]
  • Cocaine is the most powerful central nervous stimulant found in nature. Cocaine creates feelings of alertness, energy, self-confidence, and even power.[3]
  • Crack Cocaine Fact
    The name “crack” cocaine comes from the “crackling” sound that is created when impure cocaine is heated
  • The name “crack” cocaine comes from the “crackling” sound that is created when impure cocaine is heated.[7]
  • In 1885, a U.S. manufacturer sold cocaine with the promise that cocaine would “make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain.” They even include a syringe in the packaging.[7]
  • Inca civilization in the Andes Mountains believed the cocaine was a gift from the gods.[7]
  • In the early 1900s, white business owners would encourage their African-American employees to cocaine to boost their performance.[7]
  • Pure cocaine was first extracted from the leaves of the coca plant in 1859 and was marketed in a fortified wine (known as coca wine) in France as early as 1863.[6]
  • Cocaine was first used in the U.S. in the 1880s, where it was applied as an anesthetic in eye, nose, and throat operations.[7]
  • In the United States, cocaine is about $150 per pure gram.[22]
  • Cocaine is God's way of saying that you're making too much money.

    - Robin Williams

  • Both Ernest Shackleton and Captain Scott took cocaine tablets on their South Pole expeditions.[7]
  • Cocaine hydrochloride, the purified chemical from the leaves of the coca plant, was the main active ingredient in several tonics and elixirs produced for a variety of illnesses in the early 1900s. One product, Tucker’s Asthma Specific, contained 420 milligrams of cocaine per ounce.[16]
  • Chronic cocaine use can cause a condition called “bruxism,” which is involuntary teeth grinding.[15]
  • Coca-Cola originally contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per serving. While cocaine was officially removed from the drink’s ingredients in 1903, a cocaine-free version of the coca leaf is still used as a flavor additive in the soda.[16]
  • Interesting Effects of Cocaine Fact
    Chronic cocaine use can destroy the cartilage separating a person’s nostrils
  • Chronic cocaine use can destroy the cartilage separating a person’s nostrils.[10]
  • Because cocaine can cause dehydration and a dry mouth, users may have less saliva in their mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.[3]
  • Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud famously advocated cocaine for treating depression, alcoholism, and morphine addiction.[7]
  • The famous nineteenth-century literary character Sherlock Holmes frequently used cocaine, especially when he didn’t have any stimulating cases to excite his mind.[7]
  • Common street names for cocaine include coke, blow, C, marching powder, and nose candy, among dozens of others that signify cocaine and cocaine mixtures with other recreational drugs.[6]
  • More than 400,000 babies are born addicted to cocaine each year in the U.S.[13]
  • Men are more likely to use cocaine than women because the drug is associated with living dangerously and wildly, but the gender gap is beginning to decrease.[11]
  • The direct pharmacological effects of the drug itself causes only one third of the deaths associated with cocaine use. The vast majority of deaths related to cocaine are caused by homicide, suicide, and motor vehicle collisions as a result of the drug’s mind-altering properties.[13]
  • Because cocaine is popular among middle to upper-class communities, it is known as the “rich man’s drug.”[7]
  • Cocaine History Effect
    Cocaine is also known as the “rich man’s drug

  • Men tend to feel the effects of cocaine faster than women and report more episodes of euphoria and dysphoria (intense bad feelings) related to the drug than women do.[13]
  • Ingesting both cocaine and alcohol causes more deaths than any other drug combination.[13]
  • Cocaine overdose is the most common reason for drug-related visits to the emergency department in the U.S., causing 31% of such visits. In 1978, cocaine accounted for only 1% of drug-related emergency room visits.[1][11]
  • Approximately 10% of people who begin using cocaine will immediately progress to serious, heavy use of the drug.[13]
  • Cocaine Death Fact
    Cocaine causes three times more deaths than any other illegal drug
  • After marijuana, cocaine is the second most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.[5]
  • According to one study, trace amounts of cocaine can be found on four out of every five dollar bills in circulation. However, because cocaine is a fine powder and is easily spread around, presence of the drug does not necessarily mean the bill was used as a snorting straw.[9]
  • Cocaine users tend to have higher rates of antisocial personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and multi-substance abuse than the general population. These traits are also more common among their immediate-family relatives.[13]
  • Every day, 2,500 Americans try cocaine for the first time.[11]
  • Globally, over 200 million people use illegal drugs, of which 21 million use cocaine.[7]
  • High-sugar and processed foods are just as addictive or more so than cocaine.[18]
  • Cocaine has been described as the “perfect heart attack drug” because it increases blood pressure, stiffens arteries, and thickens heart muscle walls. These abnormalities persist long after the effects of cocaine have worn off, even in recreational users.[4]
  • The most addictive form of cocaine is crack cocaine.[7]
  • Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Three countries, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia account for all the coca harvested in the world.[17]
  • Random Cocaine Fact
    Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant

  • The United States consumes approximately 37% of the world’s cocaine, although they only make up less than 5% of the world’s population. Europe and South America round out the top three cocaine consumers.[7]
  • Aerosmith frontman, Steven Tyler admitted that he spent over $5 million on cocaine in the 1970s and 1980s.[19]
  • Cocaine that is sold on the streets is often mixed with sugar, quinine, cornstarch, or local anesthetics.[1]
  • Some people will use tampon applicators to insufflate or “snort” cocaine. Such devices are often called “tooters[12]
  • Sharing straws to snort cocaine can spread several blood diseases, including hepatitis C.[3]
  • Injecting cocaine (also known as mainlining) is the quickest way to get high. Some users ears’ ring after an injection, a condition which is known as a “bell ringer.”[20]
  • William Stewart Halsted Cocaine Fact
    After investigating cocaine as an anesthetic, Halstead became addicted to the drug
  • In 1884, William Stewart Halsted, a famous American physician, performed the first surgery using cocaine as an anesthetic. Halsted would later become the first cocaine-addicted physician on record.[7]
  • The illegal market for cocaine is between $100 and $500 billion each year globally.[7]
  • Hitler was addicted to cocaine, among many other drugs, which helped fuel his ranting paranoia.[14]
  • The most common way of consuming cocaine is sniffing or snorting it.[6]
  • A British father accidentally sent a Tupperware full of cocaine with his son to preschool. He was in a hurry to get his son to Smarty Pants Preschool and thought the Tupperware was the boy’s lunch.[21]
  • One woman tried to smuggle cocaine in her breast implants. Airport officials grew suspicious when they noticed bandages and gauze under one of her breasts.[2]

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