Arlen Booth’s Cocaine Coma, although a work of fiction, raises many provocative questions about the systems in place that protect the drug trade, among them the pharmaceutical companies and scientists who have not released their studies with valid treatments for cocaine. Without users, dealers would have no one to which to sell, and the entire system of violence and destruction would collapse.
Dr. Sarcovich, a man who lost his son to a prank cocaine overdose, reveals to the novel’s stunned protagonist, Chicago police detective, Mike Daniels, that he knows of a holistic tribal cure for cocaine addiction that he learned from South American exchange students while in veterinary college. “They would take powdered cocaine, wrap it in a large phanilica bush leaf, then throw the package in a covered smoke pit. The cocaine would absorb the vapors off the phanilica leaf with no change in color.” The tribal members gave the treated cocaine to the addicts in the tribe, under the guise of regular cocaine. After losing consciousness in a weeklong coma, the tribal members who had used the treated cocaine awoke, cured of their cocaine addictions. “What a simple cure to keep their tribal member as an asset to the community, alive and well.” Dr. Sarcovich sardonically comments on the fact that this remarkable treatment has never become public knowledge, “Amazing how this cure has never become public isn’t it!” Sarcovich rhetorically questions, “Who is keeping this information secret?”
Daniels becomes very excited about the proposed resolution to drug and crime problems, but Dr. Sarcovich informs him that the holistic treatment using the phanilica bush leaf is problematic, the phanilica bush existing only in small quantities in South America. Dr. Sarcovich reveals that having found it necessary to administer the treatment to a cocaine-addicted friend in college, he discovered a chemical procedure to produce the same restorative effect, “the vapor given off by the leaf, when heated, had the same properties of our common anesthetic, xaphane gas vapors.” He describes the success he achieved by inducing his friend into a coma using the xaphane-riddled cocaine, emerging cured of his addiction and illuminates that xaphane’s power to cure cocaine addiction had already been discovered by a pharmaceutical corporation, the information ostensibly protected by payoffs and corruption. “A pharmaceutical corporation had already discovered the phanilica plant’s power, but only released it to the medical field as an anesthetic for putting someone in a coma for surgery!”
The xaphane gas vapor-laced cocaine produces an instant coma in the user lasting six to seven days, going deep into the brain, erasing all memory of the high from drugs and blocking out all known response to chemical stimulus. Those who go through the treatment “become healthy citizens once again.” This treatment that “brings hope to the masses” has been shockingly concealed from the public, allowing users to go on destroying their lives and the lives of their families through their addictions, and providing income for the drug dealers and drug lords, propagating violence and destruction. Booth’s startling revelations in Cocaine Coma will provoke thought in readers, causing them to question the intricate and corrupt systems at play protecting the drug trade, ultimately causing great loss and destruction.
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