My Organic Chemistry

Name/Structure:
- Cocaine
- Benzoylmethylecgonine
- C17H21NO4
- Methyl(1R,2R,3S,5S)-3- (benzoyloxy)-8methyl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1] octane-2-carboxylate


How its made:
Coca leaves are pulled off the plant and are chopped up and mixed with ammonia and lime. The mixture is then put in barrels with diesel gasoline. The barrel has a hole in the bottom to move the gas into another barrel while being filtered. The narcotic element from the coca leaves remains in the gasoline. It is then mixed with more ammonia to seperate the components. More gas is then added and you continue to stir for a bit. The gas collects all the drug that was in the mixture. The drug's going to stay in the gasoline. You then get a seperate container, add 3L of water with 30cm3 of sulfuric acid, and filter it into the main barrel. It is then stirred and compressed together for a period of time. More ammonia is added to the resulting product to make paste. The paste is then ready to be sold after it is dried.

How it affects us:
Some politicians are thinking on taking harder action in stopping the flow of this drug. But in reality you can’t stop something like this. By making it harder to get, raises the cost and the consequences, which will create more desperate and violent repercussions. For example, the government makes the consequences harder. The suppliers then get more desperate killings, crimes, robberies, and other crimes escalate. Individuals addicted generally good people do things they would not do under normal circumstances. Now on that note. The addict now loses, gets locked up and is labeled. He/she can’t work, can’t pay his bill, let alone pay outrageous fines and legal costs. The familes torn apart. Once the family structure breaks down, so does the community as a whole. The cost on fighting it and housing non-violent addicted individuals, not to mention the impact on society is far to great. Dealers make money off of misery to look glamorous, farmers raise the crops just so they can survive.

Effects of Cocaine:

Short Term Effects:

When cocaine is used it interferes with the reabsorption of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and movement, producing a euphoric effect. Shortly after cocaine is ingested the user may experience constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, increased heart rate and a higher blood pressure. During the euphoric period after cocaine use, which can last up until 30 minutes, user will experience hyperstimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental alertness. However, some users also experience restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. During a cocaine binge, when the drug is taken repeatedly, users may experience increasing restlessness, irritability and paranoia. For some users this can lead to a period of paranoid psychosis, with auditory hallucinations and a disconnection with reality.

Long Term Effects:
Repeated cocaine use can cause or lead to irregular heart beats, heart attackts, chest pains, respiratory failure, stroke, seizure, headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea. Chronic users of cocaine can become malnourished due to the drug's ability to decrease appetite. Each method of taking cocaine can produce specific health effects. Snorting leads to chronically runny nose, nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, and problems swallowing. Ingesting leads to severe bowel gangrene due to a reduction in the flow of blood to the intestines. Lastly injection leads to severe allergic reactions. Increased risk for contracting HIV, Hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.
Interesting Facts:
- Columbia is the world's largest producer of cocaine, accounting for around 80% of total supply.
- In Columbia, cocaine is on average 15% more profitable than any other legally cultivated crop
- Those who grow Coca also grew plantains, cassava, corn, and sugercane. But Coca is the most profitable and there is a commerce of it. "Its really the only product you can survive off of," says one of the farmers in Bogota, Columbia.
- A kilo of paste costs around $1,000 US and most customers pay less. The materials are expensive and to get a kilo, you spend around $700 for all the supplies. Gaining only 300$ profit if lucky.
- Merchants should make around US $2,000 a kilo. and when it is sold outside Colombia, it gets to cost between U$25,000 and 50,000.
In U.S a gram of coke will go for $40.00.
- There is only about 0.2% in coca tea. It doesn't get you high like cocaine but it does mildly supress appetite, increase focus and endurance and it's all natural and good for you.
- Coca is easy to grow and also resistent to many or most pests.

Sources:
- June 2, 2010 at 11:36pm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocaine
- June 2, 2010 at 11:56pm http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/dea/pubs/abuse/chap4/stimula/cocaine.htm**
- June 2, 2010 at 11:40pm http://www.cocaine.org/process.html**
- June 3, 2010 at 12:20am **http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTDeImXTEuA&feature=fvw**
- June 3, 2010 at 12:03am http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/cocaine.html**


By Eric Lu
Block E