Essay by turtlesUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2002

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Morpheus planted a special purple flower called the lotus. Soon the people of the land smelled the sweet flowers and ate them. They immediately feel into a deep and troubled sleep. From that day on, they awoke only long enough to gather the lotus flowers and sleep again. Eventually they lost their strength and willpower and wanted only to drift in and out of sleep.[1] The story of the lotus-eaters and similar tales from ancient times show us that drug use is not new. Today this problem threatens all of our society. One of the most deadly of these abused drugs is the narcotic cocaine. This report will talk about what cocaine is, what it does to the human body, and two fantastic people who gave their lives because of it.

Today, over 5 million people use cocaine each month. Each day, 3,000 people try cocaine for the first time.[2]

Cocaine is a white powder made from the leaves of the cocoa plant. Cocaine is first pressed to form a paste; then, the paste is mixed with strong chemicals to make a white, powdery mixture. The most significant amounts of cocaine come from South America. It is estimated that about 400 tons of cocaine is smuggled out of South America each year. Half of this cocaine ends up on the streets of the United States. Cocaine is a stimulant that is usually sniffed through the nasal passages, which results in an instant high. This means when consumed, it speeds up the way the brain works. It causes the brain to send out too many electrical signals that then get mixed up. Because the brain tells the heart how fast and often to beat, using cocaine can make the heart pump so violently that it damages the muscles which can lead...