No details about the TV show will be revealed in this post.
Released last Friday on Netflix, the second season of Narcos may have been on of the most discussed topics over the weekend. Sitting on the bus, two guys were talking about it and not 10 minutes later did we have the entire back of the bus talking about it. Narcos is definitely up there on my top favorite TV shows, besides having to read half of the script.
Laying in bed watching an episode, I had the idea for this blog post. What do I really know about cocaine? Nothing. So here is a little more you can know about cocaine.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine, either in powder or crystal form, comes from the coca leaves. This is a plant grown in South America where the tropical conditions are perfect for growing the plant. A combination of perfect altitude and humidity are needed to effectively grown coca plants; the Andes mountains and the Amazon together create an ideal growing environment. Coca plants can be grown in other places (not very easily), but is most effectively done in South America. The leaves are processed through various steps until it finally becomes Cocaine Hydro-chloride. As it gets passed from dealer to dealer, it is often cut with other products to increase profits. This means that the dealer may throw any cheaper substance (flour, baking powder, other drugs) into the cocaine. Obviously, it becomes very dangerous as multiple unknown substances are mixed into it. (Narconon)
Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia are the leading producing nations of cocaine, almost having no
competition (Narconon). The majority of the production is sent to America to satisfy our massive coke loving population. According to Mike Nudelman, Cocaine is a very popular drug on Wall street, being used since the 1970’s. The remainder of cocaine distribution goes to mainly European countries and Australia. It then gets purchased by every type of person from the poor to rich business executives, and eventually used.
Cost of Cocaine
According to Scott Stewart, When a kilogram of cocaine leaves Colombia, it is worth approximately $2,200. By the time it reaches The Mexico-US border, it is worth $16,000. In just 2,000 miles, the price increases by 700%- no longer surprised why these drug lords take the risks they do. Reaching Dallas, it hits a price of $24,000 per kilo and than $27,000 per kilo when it reaches New York City. (Stewart) An overall increase by over 1200%. Now this profit is split among many dealers and transporters, but still gives a huge profit to the cartel- which is why they are able to hold so much power in their respective areas. Money is not the only cost of cocaine, many lives are also lost in the process. According to Jason Breslow, over 164,000 people were murdered in Mexico between 2007 and 2014. It is estimated that at least 55% of these deaths were directly at the hands of the cartel. (Breslow) The costs quickly add up to millions of dollars and thousands of lives being spent on cocaine each year.
Cocaines effect on the body
Cocaine can be taken in multiple ways. Many people choose to snort it but it can also be ingested through smoking, injection, or absorbtion though the gums. Effects occur almost immediately after the drug enters the body,
changing chemicals in the brain to deliver a high to the user. This high is created through the drug blocking neurotransmitters in the brain. The results heavily stimulate the user. The stimulation comes in the form of making the user very energetic and alert. The energetic effect transfers into curving the users ability and or wish to sleep, which may be why so many people are using it on Wall street- the can work all day and party all night, supplementing their lack of sleep with cocaine. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Cocaine is used and love by many: some use it recreationally and others to stay awake through the day. In either situation, there is someone, most likely thousands of miles away, profiting very heavily from those addicted to, or just using, cocaine. Not only is there a massive trail of money, but also bodies of anyone who interferes with the business of the cartels.