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NCJ Number: 170655 Find in a Library
Title: Social Pharmacology of Smokeable Cocaine: Not All It's Cracked Up to Be (From Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice, P 131-170, 1997, Craig Reinarman and Harry G Levine, eds. - See NCJ-170648)
Author(s): J P Morgan; L Zimmer
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: University of California Press
Berkeley, CA 94720
Sale Source: University of California Press
2120 Berkely Way
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of the evidence indicates that dangers of crack cocaine to individual users and society have been exaggerated and that the amount of harm resulting from the use of crack and powder cocaine has less to do with their pharmacological properties than with social circumstances of their use.
Abstract: In both powder and crack form, cocaine can be toxic, especially when consumed in large doses, and even small doses may produce harmful effects in some users. However, most users experience no serious adverse health consequences related to their use. Cocaine also appears to be weak as a fetal toxin, and no physical or developmental abnormalities in infants can be attributed causally and specifically to maternal use of crack or cocaine. In both fetuses and adults, the relatively large safety margin associated with cocaine is probably linked to extensive homeostatic responses to stimulant drugs, protective mechanisms confirmed by pharmacological science but rarely mentioned by those interested in publicizing cocaine's harm. Cocaine does not produce physical dependence, and babies are not born addicted to the drug. Moreover, popular beliefs and attitudes about crack and cocaine have largely been shaped by journalists. The authors consider the pharmacodynamics of cocaine's stimulant and physiological effects, cocaine toxicity as a cause of death, and cocaine-related medical emergencies. They also discuss crack as an addictive drug, present a biochemical theory of cocaine addiction, and compare the addictiveness of crack and cocaine. 190 references and 45 notes
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Children of drug abusers; Cocaine; Crack; Drug dependence; Drug effects; Drug use; Media coverage; Pregnant drug abusers
Note: DCC
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