Author: Justin Mckibben
Ever since August 28, 2015 anyone and everyone seems to have something to say about Narcos, the new hit series that debuted on Netflix and has a monumental momentum that has not stopped since. The show has been talked about on practically every channel, has flooded all Facebook (not to mention other social media) news feeds, and has become a centerpiece of conversation in every medium.
Even the people who have never seen a single episode have chattered about how the plot must be well worth the hype, and everyone else eagerly awaits a second gripping and climactic season.
So why has Narcos taken over, and what hidden truths of the drug trade can we learn from it?
Narcos is an American drug trafficking crime drama television series that was created by various talented writers and producers, including:
- Chris Brancato
- Carlo Bernard
- Doug Miro
Narcos has Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha in the captains seat, and thus far he appears to have done a great deal of justice to the material.
This uniquely epic is so far a 10 installment long episodic portrayal of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel has a thrilling way of packing a serious punch, while also entangling the tales of United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.
Narcos unravels a dramatic reenactment of the real life events surrounding of the progression and expansion of cocaine drug cartels across the globe, while highlighting law enforcement efforts to bring it all crashing down. Wagner Moura stars as notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, with plenty of blood and brutality to go around.
True Narco Cinema
The series is set during the 1980s Colombian drug war, but it’s more generally about the myths that drug lords, politicians, and cops tell the communities they serve, which has historically been a way they preserve their power; feeding into the fear and mythology that surround them.
Narcos producers call this “magical realism,” but it is actually an old Latin American genre of a storytelling tradition called “narco cinema,” comprised entirely of B-movies about the drug trade. Narco cinema works its own magic through a deeply romanticizing the power and violence of drug lords; turning cops into villains, drug kingpins into underdogs turned heroes, and beauty queens into narcos.
Underneath all this, Narco cinema skillfully exposes the weaknesses and corruption of government systems that have allowed the cartels to infect them and take advantage of the people, which is a clever way to show the truth of how cocaine and cocaine traffickers like those on Narcos have devastated the lives of those around them.
Many people who have made a habit and even a living of dissecting and evaluating films and media have praised the series, and one thing many have pointed out is even though the show has bent the truth a bit to make for more entertaining television, it may more accurately portray the uglier, more sinister side to the reality of drug cartels.
Narcos has been valued by many as the first American production in the true narco-cinematic legacy. Unlike most American depictions of the drug trade, Narcos manages to glamorize its protagonists while still revealing the disturbing structural problems they are working within, exposing the world to the key dynamics in the real life drug wars; specifically the way drug lords and corrupt cops and DEA agents mold their own myths and do everything in their power to instill those terrifying yet empowering legends about them in order to preserve their power over the people.
Drug lords oppress the people, they terrorize communities and they destroy lives across the board. Yet because they are made into these grandiose legends of rags to riches through overcoming injustice, they are idolized. What Narcos has done in the eyes of many is it has continued to stroke the ego of the drug lord just enough, while trying to show the viewer just how disturbing and tragically wicked the world of the drug dealer can be. It is not all fun and games, not all a hero’s journey. It is a twisted and ugly world, and the hidden truth they try to display is that the legend is more important to the drug lord than the truth, because the truth is a lot uglier and a lot less heroic than the stories they tell about themselves.
Along with dramatic series about drug abuse and drug trafficking, Netflix also features some excellent drug documentaries that may also give you insight into how substance abuse and addiction destroys lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
You may or may not be aware of this but, some of the highly-illegal drugs today were once used in virtually any kind of cough drop, tincture, or formula to treat anything from cough to nausea to insomnia. And many of these medical preparations that included drugs like heroin and cocaine we even available over-the-counter!
Nowadays, there are much stricter regulations on what have been found to be illicit drugs, as well as other drugs that are prescribed for our ailments.
But, there are some surprising ways in which illicit drugs are being used today. Here are 5 illegal drugs that will cure you…
#1. Cocaine for wound care
First, cocaine is an effective local anesthetic and, once applied, it numbs the area very quickly, usually in less than two minutes. Secondly, cocaine is effective at stopping the bleeding; it’s a vasoconstrictor, which is a drug that constricts – or narrows – the blood vessels. The smaller a blood vessel gets, the bleeding occurs.
Even many pediatricians recommend using cocaine on children’s wounds because of cocaine’s properties that make it a valuable tool for treating cuts and lacerations.
#2. LSD for Alcoholism
Studies show that your chances of staying away from alcohol will be dramatically increased after tripping on acid. There was an extensive study done in the 1960s and ’70s that revealed how recovering alcoholics are much less likely to drink to excess and how some even stopped drinking altogether for several months.
The reason why this works could be due to the LSD helping the participants to feel more confident, happy and satisfied with their lives, which, in turn, decreased the feelings they had that led most of them to abuse alcohol in the first place. The alcohol-abstaining effects from the one LSD trip lasted for about six months, at which point, if LSD were legal, the patients would be able to return to a treatment clinic for another dose, repeating the process until they were able to transition into sobriety.
#3. Heroin for women in labor
Heroin is an opiate, in the same class of drugs as painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine. However, heroin itself is actually much more effective than morphine and takes effect in about two or three minutes. In fact, The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain recommends giving it to people in extreme pain, people in surgery, and women in labor.
Now, just to be clear, the NHS is, in fact, made up of medical professionals. The practice in Britain is to give women in labor an injection of heroin to help with the contractions as they give birth. The one-time use doesn’t do any damage and doesn’t cause dependency, because it is only administered when the baby is on its way out of its mother’s body.
#4. MDMA for PTSD
MDMA, or Ecstasy, has been shown to help treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The reason for this is actually the same reason that the drug is popular for recreational use: It releases large amounts of the feel-good chemicals serotonin and oxytocin in your brain, which makes you relaxed, euphoric, and feel at ease. This results in relieving the stress experienced by PTSD sufferers.
When used in a therapeutic setting, MDMA allows PTSD patients to relive their experiences more easily, which is crucial to overcoming the disorder. Ecstasy lets the sufferers do so without being overwhelmed, by activating the area of the brain responsible for controlling fear and stress. Over time, this results in long-term reduction of fear.
#5. Methamphetamine for ADHD and obesity
Desoxyn, the purest form of meth, is prescribed to obese people for quick short-term weight loss. It’s only prescribed as a short-term treatment for obvious reasons, since meth is highly addictive as well as overall catastrophic to your well-being. Meth is rarely prescribed in this way and only when all other treatments fail.
Desoxyn is also prescribed by U.S. doctors to treat ADHD. Considering that sufferers of ADHD typically exhibit symptoms of jitteriness and inattentiveness, which are also associated with meth use, it nevertheless has a therapeutic effect on people with ADHD. When it comes to the brain, nothing is simple, and meth. Like other stimulants, helps regulate brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Drugs and dosage are carefully controlled by your medical providers who can monitor the results and adjust your medication accordingly by a medical professional who can monitor the results. In general, you shouldn’t self-medicate any medical problem with alcohol or illicit drugs and you should only take medications as prescribed. If you are struggling with substance abuse and or a psychological disorder, such as PTSD, ADHD, or depression, Palm Partners is here for you. We offer dual diagnosis treatment for people who are ready to end the cycle of drug abuse. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
image via en.wikipedia.org
George Jung, the inspiration behind Johnny Depp’s character in Ted Demme’s 2001 film, Blow, has been released from behind bars after practically completing his 20-year prison sentence.
Jung is credited with being the first to establish a major pipeline from Colombia to the United States, essentially creating the American cocaine market in the 1970s and ’80s. Jung, nicknamed “Boston George,” was one of the biggest players in the cocaine trade and was believed to be responsible for nearly 90% of the coke in America at the time.
Initially, George Jung was in the business of transporting marijuana from the west coast to Amherst, Mass. once he learned of the demand for it back east. He then realized that getting pot down in Mexico and smuggling it into the States was way more lucrative.
After a turn of events that resulted in Jung getting caught smuggling pot, he was sent to federal prison in Danbury, Conn. but only ended up doing a short stint there. What’s more important is that this would be a major factor in how he was to eventually become such a high profile drug smuggler. Danbury is where Jung was to meet his future cocaine connect as well as learn quite a lot about drug smuggling and money laundering.
In an interview he gave with Frontline back in 2000, Jung said “You could more or less learn anything you wanted to learn in there in reference to illicit activities. It was basically a school. My bunk mate was Carlos Lehder, he said he was from Colombia and he spoke excellent English.” Lehder was to become a Colombian drug lord and founder of the Medellin Cartel.
Jung went on to describe how their partnership was hatched.
“Carlos and I spent close to a year together, working and planning every day…Carlos never ceased, never stopped. He was like a student is, constantly pumping people’s brains about money laundering, about this, about that. About automobiles, about airplanes, about boats. In fact there was a guy in there for smuggling with boats and he spent hours and hours with him learning navigation, and there was a president of a bank in there and he pumped him constantly about the banking system in America and how one can launder money, and he kept files and files on everything. He kept notes constantly.”
At the height of his success as a cocaine dealer, Jung’s lifestyle could put to shame that of even the most famous of Hollywood stars.
“I was a guy who had a lot of money and unlimited access to cocaine and even if I looked like Bela Lugosi I still had the most beautiful women on the planet because everybody at that time, especially women, were in love with cocaine and of course in love with the money — the access to the automobiles, the clothes, the dinners, the lifestyle. Basically I was no different than a rock star or a movie star. I was a coke star.”
It all came crashing down when Jung was sentenced back in 1994 for 60 years in prison.
Even from behind bars, Jung’s celebrity thrived. Besides being the focus of a major motion picture, he has also been featured in a number of true crime programs for television as well as in the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which details the Medellin Cartel. And whenever Blow is aired on television, Jung’s name becomes a popular internet search item.
Originally scheduled to be released from the Federal Correctional Facility in Fort Dix, New Jersey on Thanksgiving Day 2014, Jung was released early and placed at a halfway house somewhere on the west coast of the U.S.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine was first extracted from coca leaves in 1859 by German chemist Albert Niemann. It wasn’t until the 1880s, however, that it started to be popularized among the medical community.
It is a stimulant, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic. A stimulant, cocaine is a psychoactive drug that can cause temporary increases in either mental or physical functions or both. The effects of cocaine include alertness, wakefulness, racing heart, increased movement and activity.
Cocaine Throughout Ancient Time
Coca is one of the oldest, most potent and most dangerous stimulants of natural origin. The ancient Incas in the Andes chewed coca leaves to get their hearts racing and to speed their breathing to counter the effects of living in thin mountain air.
Native Peruvians also chewed coca leaves but only for spiritual purposes, reserving its use for during religious ceremonies only. When the Spanish invaded Peru in 1532 they forced Indian laborers in Spanish silver mines by steadily supplying them with coca leaves because it made them easier to control and exploit.
Cocaine and Western Medicine
From the 1850s to the early 1900s, people of all social classes used medicinal solutions that contained either opium or cocaine for a variety of issues such as nausea and stomach ache . Notable figures who promoted the “miraculous” effects of cocaine tonics and elixirs included inventor Thomas Edison and actress Sarah Bernhardt. The drug became popular in the silent film industry and the pro-cocaine messages coming out of Hollywood at that time influenced millions.
Cocaine and Coca-Cola
You may have heard this before: that Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine and that’s in fact where it got its name. This may sound like a myth or urban legend of sorts but it’s actually true. From 1886 until 1903, cocaine was infused with the soft drink in order to boost its popularity and keep people wanting more. By the turn of the century, Coca-Cola’s popularity has skyrocketed. Once cocaine use in society increased, however, the dangers began to become more and more evident. The Coca-Cola Company removed the ingredient of cocaine from its product due to public pressure.
Cocaine Use Today
Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 15–30 minutes to an hour, depending on the dosage and how it is administered. It is still used as a topical anesthetic.
Cocaine increases alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality. Athletes sometimes use cocaine for its performance-enhancing capabilities such as improved attention and increased endurance. Anxiety, paranoia and restlessness often occur during use and especially when coming down from cocaine.
Cocaine overdose can come on rapidly and without warning. Signs of cocaine overdose include seizures, tremors, and general shakiness as well as rapid speech, excessive talking, acting violently, or having paranoid thoughts. Cocaine use can lead to permanent brain injury, even after only one time use. This is because cocaine can cause stroke or severe seizures. It increases blood pressure and heart rate, causing stroke and/or heart attack at any moment. Some people can go into cardiac arrest leading to sudden death even after only the first time they use cocaine.
If you or someone you know needs treatment for Cocaine Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.