Cocaine Bear, the film about a black man who becomes addicted to drugs after taking too much cocaine, led the field at the box office last weekend. On the other hand, the most confusing thing in the film is the one where two 12-year-old children eat about a spoonful of the drug… In a separate interview, director Elizabeth Banks said that this situation causing concern among the filmmakers but they think it is important for these children to be. 12, not an adult, because “their innocence has been proven.” And before the film premiered, conservative culture warriors made predictions about the film the movie including coke-eating children as another example of Hollywood corruption.
But for us, the scene opened up many useful questions: What did he do? eat food cocaine or not? What about when children do it, as opposed to adults? I picked up the phone Andrew Stolbach is a man on the moonwho holds a master’s degree in public health and is a toxicologist at Johns Hopkins and an emergency physician on the board of directors at the American Academy of Public Health, to assess drug abuse in children. Cocaine Bear. This interview has been transcribed and edited for clarity.
Nadira Goffe: First, what is the real difference, physically, between taking cocaine and snorting it, smoking it, or other ways of taking it?
Andrew Stolbach: If you drink or eat drugs, you get about a third of the dose—30 percent or so. If you smoke, smoke it, or inject it, it takes seconds to minutes. And from that moment, you adjust it and the level decreases, but it increases immediately. When you eat it, it peaks within an hour or two [later]. So, you only get a third or more of what you eat, but it will be slow, and then slowly decrease, due to slow absorption.
Spoon for adults, let’s say – is this considered a large portion?
It’s actually a good question, because no one ever talks about dope in a spoon. So, this seems like a lot.
I’ll say: If you’re snorting it, a tablespoon sounds like a little.
Yes, it looks like a lot. So, even if a third of it is drunk, it still feels like a lot.
Can you talk about the differences between the effects of cocaine on adults and the effects of cocaine on children?
The effects of cocaine on adults and children are the same. It makes the heart beat faster. It can cause tension. On the spectrum, depending on the dose, from low doses – more consciousness – to high doses – anxiety, delirium, seizures, and death. So, it runs the spectrum. But in children it is the same as in adults. The spectrum is the same. High doses can also cause direct effects on the heart, arrhythmias.
It would cause the same effect, but I would assume that it would take less bone for a child to experience the same effect as an adult because of their small body?
Yes, that’s right. It will take less than a dose to have the same effect.
Therefore, one would think that even one third of the spoon, considering that they are 12 years old, maybe even the rest of the film, should be affected?
Yeah, I think these kids are going to be sick.
This is good to know.
Also, I can’t picture a teaspoon of cocaine, but a teaspoon of sugar is 12 grams. Twelve grams is a lot of cocaine.
And I think anyone who gets a spoonful of sugar, it feels like a lot of sugar. It is actually a useful comparison.
So, one question I actually have while watching these two kids eat spoonfuls of dope—and you’re an expert, so you may or may not know the answer to this—is: What does cocaine even taste like?? Do you have any thoughts?
Traditionally, opium is a local anesthetic. So, if you put it on the dusty spots, like your eyeball or mouth, it makes it dry. This information is dated, but you have heard of it Kojak?
No, I haven’t.
That’s the old TV show with the security guard. They will catch the pill, he will touch it and touch his mouth. In principle, since Iblis will make your tongue feel cold, then you know that it is the drug and not heroin or something else. I don’t know what it tastes like.
And it is still used in some surgeries; This is still accepted. You will be approved, for example, to use it in the hospital to perform an operation on the eye. I don’t know how often ophthalmologists use it, because there are other antibiotics you can use that don’t have the other ingredients, but yes.
Thanks. This is my conversation –
But he certainly emphasized that no one should eat a spoonful in a test, especially a child. Because you must be drinking too much. You can imagine that the weed that people buy can be anywhere from 10 percent to 90 percent pure. Its purity is as important as its use, because if you eat 90 percent cocaine, that can be like a lot of cocaine. [you’re absorbing] as someone who snorts junky cocaine.
This is a good thing to emphasize. Something I didn’t ask because, maybe, maybe I thought it was obvious. But I’m glad we’re talking.
Yes. You never know.
This is true. You never know, and these kids sure don’t. Those are the questions I have. Do you have any long-term thoughts about children and cocaine use?
No. I don’t know anything about bears either, so I can’t help you there.
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