As if cocaine was not dangerous enough, drug dealers have found another way to make it more addictive and potent. By adding caffeine, drug manufacturers in South America have increased the potency and addictiveness of cocaine. This information is important because it helps explain why the drug is still wreaking havoc on millions of people throughout the world.
In addition to the initial high, cocaine users will often experience paranoia, hallucinations and depression, but the drug is so powerful that many people continue to abuse it, often in an attempt to make those unwanted side effects to go away. However, we know that more use of the drug only makes things worse, rapidly.
“Nearly 80 percent of the coca paste samples were adulterated. Most with caffeine,” explained Jose Prieto, a neurochemist at the Biological Research Institute Clemente Stable in Montevideo, Uruguay. This information is important because it highlights the dangers of cocaine and caffeine separately as well as together. It allows researchers to better help future and current addicts.
An experiment was done to see what the differences were between cocaine and cocaine laced with caffeine. The rats that were administered just cocaine would run around and appear to have a lot of energy. The rats that were administered cocaine and caffeine did the same thing, however much more intensely, but it would run out faster. With the increased sensitization to the drug, it’s more potent effect wore off faster, thus driving users back for more in less time compared to cocaine alone.
As with all addiction research, the more that is known and understood about the chemical, biological and behavioral aspects, the more treatments can be developed to help people recover. This research was published in the American Jouranl on Addictions.