It’s hard to believe now, but there was once a time in America’s history when even children could buy an ordinary soft drink and consume narcotics within it, and this was 100% legal! It was only in 1929 that Coca-Colar finally removed cocaine as one of the active ingredients in its carbonated beverage!
Today, of course, no American—let alone a minor—can go into a store and casually purchase a food or beverage with cocaine in it. The drug is now illegal, though that hasn’t stopped it from being familiar to many Americans, and testing for its presence now happens in many different situations.
It’s In The Media
Along with marijuana, cocaine is probably the most familiar drug to Americans due to its frequent portrayal in the media. Millions of Americans have, over the decades, seen cocaine, a white, powdery substance, divided into lines and inhaled through the nose, or kept in a rock-like form, and smoked in a pipe.
Cocaine is also well known due to its popularity from during the 1980s. Compared to other drugs, cocaine is not the cheapest. During the boom period of the 80s however, when the economy was good, and many young people had a significant disposable income, it became a popular drug amongst the affluent Baby Boomer generation as executives, celebrities, and others used it.
Of course, the reason people use cocaine, as with any other drug, is because a “high” is achieved. In the case of cocaine, this is a burst of energy, as well as a strong sense of well-being, as if one is indestructible and can do anything. However, there are also significant short term effects. Death, due to respiratory failure, is a possible side effect. More worrying, however, is the “crash,” that comes after the high, the exact opposite of the high, that leaves a person feeling defeated, depressed, and craving more.
Today, cocaine is one of the panels in the standard 5-panel drug test. A panel, in this case, can be thought of as a type of drug. Standard 5-panel drug tests look for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and opiates. So while there is no single test for only cocaine usage, it is very easy to spot the metabolites it leaves behind, in addition to four other drugs being tested.
It’s important to remember that today’s drug tests can track usage of drugs for longer periods, 90 days or more after usage. It’s getting harder and harder to cheat these tests.