What are the legal and illegal uses of opium and cocaine?

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The illegal uses of cocaine and opium is very similar. Both drugs are derived from plants occurring in the natural world: opium coming from poppy and cocaine from the coca plant. There are derivatives of opium that are called opioids, which are used to treat pain management. Heroin is also a derivative of opium.

Cocaine is viewed as a “club drug,” with users from all walks of life. While not physically addicting, it is incredibly psychologically addicting. Drug addicts who are unable to afford the expensive cocaine will typically opt to consume the cheaper version, crack.

Opium and its derivates are highly addicting, and heroin addictions are most common in poverty-stricken areas due to how cheap it is. Recently, the abuse of opioids has affected people in all walks of life.

Legally, a form of cocaine is used as a topical anesthetic due to the drug’s vasoconstrictive quality. Other synthetic drugs like Novocain have been developed for this purpose but are not as effective.

Morphine is used in hospitals for pain management. This comes in a liquid form and is injected into the bloodstream. For outpatients, pill forms like Codeine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Hydromorphone are given as prescriptions for the same purpose, although the recent opioid addiction crisis is making governments rethink their use and legality.

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