What's the Real Story Behind the Decline of Cocaine Usage in this Country?

This is a discussion on What's the Real Story Behind the Decline of Cocaine Usage in this Country? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I just finished watching VH1's "The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation". The ads had promised to show the link between crack cocaine ...

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Thread: What's the Real Story Behind the Decline of Cocaine Usage in this Country?

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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    What's the Real Story Behind the Decline of Cocaine Usage in this Country?

    I just finished watching VH1's "The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation". The ads had promised to show the link between crack cocaine and Hip Hop. As a way to learn about underworld links, I donated 2 hrs. of my life to watch the program. I did learn some things I didn't know but at the same time, I also had some red flags go up alerting me to what I believe is a revisionist version of history. All the while we're being told of the volume of money that was being made by street thugs, we're also told that there really wasn't an epidemic and that the scale and proportions of the problem was exaggerated so news corporations could get ratings and the government could impose unfair legislation that was designed to disenfranchise poor minorities. We're told about crack mothers leaving their 3 yr olds at home on the front steps of their house while they go out to get more crack. We're told about the lives that the drug ruined but in spite of all of the money that the thugs made and irrespective of how the drug dealers and rappers were made rich from their affiliation with the illegal narcotic, we're told that the whole thing was a CIA conspiracy that involved the importation of Cocaine as a means and method to fund the Nicaraguan war.

    The program concludes saying that the decline of Cocaine usage in this country is due to the lives that the drug ruined all the while playing clips from rap songs denouncing the usage of the drug. All efforts that the government imposed as a method of reducing the problem in this country was denounced and minimized. Reagan declared a war on drugs that started a whole slew of unfair policy. With this new declaration of war, House Speaker, Tip" O'Neill proposed a crack/cocaine disparity in sentencing. By the time the Dems and Reps bickered amongst themselves, there was a 100:1 disparity between the rock and the powder; five grams, for example, could earn a 1-5 year prison sentence. It is our hero, Obama, that has since reduced this disparity so that now today it is an 18:1 disparity between the rock and powder.

    I don't doubt that the horrible ill effects of this drug has played a part in the demise of its usage. I also, however, very seriously doubt that government crack down had "0" effect. It appeared to me that the program was trying to drum up sympathy for the poor guys that actually got caught and had to serve years in prison for trying to make a dollar.

    I'm guessing the LEOs and ex-Leos are going to have a tremendous amount of insight when it comes to explaining what has happened and what is now happening with illegal drug usage. I will understand if the moderators do not allow this thread but please allow me to say that the purpose of this thread is not to glorify illegal narcotic usage, the sale thereof or even offer "tips" on how to engage in illegal activities but to discuss a very real problem in this country; the logistics of illegal narcotic trends in this country.

    Like I said earlier, I don't doubt that ill effects contributed to the decline of crack but at the same time, however, meth has very harsh and deadly consequences and this hasn't put a halt to its manufacturing or usage of it. We even have a prime time show (Breaking Bad) that deals with some good ole boys making the "product" with all kinds of good intentions.

    Please feel free to comment on the presentation of the show in how it reiterated recent history. I mostly would like to know, however, what causes the illegal drug using populace to switch from one drug to another? I know we hear that people used to use Acid, PCP & Heroine in the 60s and Coke/Crack was the drug of choice in the 80s and I'm guessing Meth took over in the 90s or so and is currently a problem. From the show, I know that Crack is an inexpensive high. Does law enforcement crack downs cause a disruption in distribution and affect prices so people have to switch to a new drug that hasn't been cracked down on yet and is therefore inexpensive? Is the whole thing economic? Best bang for the buck, if you will?

    Thanks for your input,
    DCG

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I don't even have TV, just Netflix. At least that way I can narrow down the garbage coming into my house. But, it was Nixon who started the war on drugs.
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    It is not so much the laws or enforcement of the laws that has slowed the epidemic, it is more "I saw what it did to my mom". Many in my generation will not touch the drug BECAUSE mom was a crack whore.

    Heroin use is on the upswing, you mention meth also on the rise and the other drug of choice for my generation and the one behind it is perscription pills.

    I'd be willing to bet we will see a decline in the use of meth in the youth that are growing up watching their parents on the stuff....

    Anywho, I'm off to bed. Three more shifts and I am off 3rd shift!!
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    I'm no drug expect. In fact I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to a lot of drugs but drugs have been (and continue to be) a problem everywhere. From what I've understand, cocaine is on a decline because Meth is cheaper, easier to make and has effects that last up to six times longer than Cocaine.

    No, I don't think the government efforts have had 0 effect but when it comes to replacing one drug with another price and demand, ease of production and availability have a lot to do with it.

    Yeah, social pressure can help and I'm glad there is a vicious campaign against drugs like cocaine and meth but people are still stupid and think they are better or smarter and THEY won't get hooked, etc.

    My cousin switched from cocaine to meth for all the reasons listed above. He says Meth made cocaine feel like child's play and he never experienced a high like meth.

    Of course he didn't realize what he was getting into until he lost his wife, his kid, his jobs, his health, all of his teeth, started trafficking to pay for his addiction and then ended up in jail and even then he STILL went back to meth several times.

    He's said many times that meth has made him not even think about cocaine and when it comes to battling and addiction he would much rather be battling cocaine than meth.

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    Like Lima says "I'm no expert" but drug use continues unabated. I have a cousin who's son OD'd and died using black tar heroin. His dad has been a drug dealer for years and the son took up the practice but ended up using more than he sold. We live in an age where the information on the horrors of drug use is out but people still do stupid things like trying them.

    The area that I live has drug related problems. Inside of my city, crack cocain is the choice of people while out in the county, methamphetamine is the most common. However, both are becoming quite common nowadays in both city and outside. Apparently there is a huge demand for these substances.

    So as long as there is a demand for drugs, there will be a source. Until people quit using, all of this madness will continue.
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    I agree with limatunes. Meth has taken the place over. Not a week goes by where the County Sheriff isn't busting a meth lab around here close.
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    Logistics favor Meth. It is cheaper to make and has a more powerful, longer lasting high. It also doesn't have to be imported, it can be made right outside in the barn/woods/shed. Therefore you don't need to cross any borders to get it to the marketplace. Cocaine never stood a chance once Meth Amphetamine showed up.
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    What's odd is that I remember meth being around during the 70's, but it was just 'another drug'. It wasn't that widely used.

    If it's cheap and easy to make now, I'm guessing it was cheap and easy then. I wonder what changed?
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    If anybody here is a street drug "expert" I guess its me. I've spent several years as a narcotic detective all over the midwest. What was the question?

    Crack started when the coke dealers discovered that they could cut their product with certain cheap and readily available cutting agents, all they had to do was "make cookies" and they could increase their profits several times over. The junkies discovered that the "crack" was a cheaper and quicker high. Eventually, crack overtook cocaine in sales and price due to the addictive nature and the higher price of doing business.

    The "crack down" simply pushes the junkie from one drug to another. Meth is old news. Ingredients are now a lot harder to get than they once were. The public is now "educated" on meth labs... bottom line is its a lot harder for the meth cook to be in business now. Meth is still out there, but not like it once was. If there is a lot of talk about it, TV shows etc, that is a good clue the trend has already passed.

    Heroin is now the drug of choice, and its far more epidemic than coke or meth ever was. The Mexicans are bringing it in almost unchallenged. Its cheap and easy to transport. The thing is, even among junkies, heroin is taboo. Its viewed as a dirty drug (and it is), so it largely remains underground. Most junkies will not admit to being on heroin, like they do coke or marijuana. The heroin now that is popular is being snorted, but it can be injected, although injecting is not near as popular as snorting. The good thing (or maybe bad, depending on your perspective) is that a heroin junkie has a very short life span. 15 year veteran of heroin is very old. 1 in a hundred will die in the first year. That number compounds as the years go on. Once 15 year mark is reached (most do not) they are most defiantly on borrowed time.
    That said, there are several notable heroin addicts in history. Joseph McCarthy being one of them. But, that was a different time. Dosages and strengths vary greatly now, as the illegal variety is so uncontrolled. Heroin is now "cut" like cocaine was in the 70's, making it far more dangerous than the diacetyl morphine. Factor in the hep c, HIV and all the other general nastiness that goes along with the big H, society has a problem.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    What's odd is that I remember meth being around during the 70's, but it was just 'another drug'. It wasn't that widely used.

    If it's cheap and easy to make now, I'm guessing it was cheap and easy then. I wonder what changed?
    Back then the real thing was available from the drug manufacturers and pharmacies. The home made stuff was around but no one wanted it as the quality was poor and it was poison. When the tougher regulations on the pharmaceutical grade meth went into effect the home made stuff went into full production.

    People want to do drugs and alcohol. If you stop one it will be replaced with another one. The problem is that many times the replacement is more dangerous than the original.

    When pot was made harder to get in the inner cities they quickly switched to crack. Crack is much easier to get than trying to smuggle in a kilo of pot. Government regulations have had an effect. I'm just not sure it was the desired effect.

    Michael

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Logistics favor Meth. It is cheaper to make and has a more powerful, longer lasting high. It also doesn't have to be imported, it can be made right outside in the barn/woods/shed. Therefore you don't need to cross any borders to get it to the marketplace. Cocaine never stood a chance once Meth Amphetamine showed up.
    A huge percentage of Meth is imported from Mexico. The Mexican cartels import it at a very high purity, which makes the users demand the Mexican stuff. It's starting to get "cut" more and more, as US dealers are getting more involved. A typical lab in the states produces anywhere from a few grams up to a few ounces, and in rare instances, pounds. There are plenty of Mexican labs that produce [I]hundreds[I] of pounds. The facilities even produce their own equipment for the labs. Now with the new methods of meth making, you only need about 3 or 4 brain cells to "cook" it. It's getting scary.

    Pseudoephedrine (main and needed ingredient to make meth) importation in Mexico is insanity. The estimated "legitimate quantity" of pseudo that is needed in Mexico per year is between 47-81 tons last year. Actually imported: 224 tons. Dont think for a second that the drug companies dont know that their product is being used for meth. Its all profits to them.

    I'll get off my soapbox... Meth is scary...cocaine / crack is going to be a distant memory in a few years IMO

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    As long as people use alcohol and other substances to change the way they feel there will be a drug problem,today pharmaceuticals and even over the counter meds are some of the most abused drugs out there.A lot of people feel like a prescription from a doctor doesn't put them in the same category as a street junkie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    What's odd is that I remember meth being around during the 70's, but it was just 'another drug'. It wasn't that widely used.

    If it's cheap and easy to make now, I'm guessing it was cheap and easy then. I wonder what changed?
    Back then pseudophed(sp?) was only available with a prescription so the main ingredient was harder to get. In the 90's (I think) pseudophed was changed to over-the-counter. People could go to Sam's and tons of the stuff cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phreddy View Post
    Back then pseudophed(sp?) was only available with a prescription so the main ingredient was harder to get. In the 90's (I think) pseudophed was changed to over-the-counter. People could go to Sam's and tons of the stuff cheap.
    That makes sense. Too bad not everybody can appreciate just a nice cold beer every now and then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreddy View Post
    Back then pseudophed(sp?) was only available with a prescription so the main ingredient was harder to get. In the 90's (I think) pseudophed was changed to over-the-counter. People could go to Sam's and tons of the stuff cheap.
    Pseudoephedrine
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