Cocaine in any form is illegal in the US. However, “coca leaf infusions” (whole coca leavesâ€”that’s where cocaine comes from, by the wayâ€”steeped in water) are offered in certain countries as a medicinal remedy, and a relief for altitude sickness.
Supposedly, drinking this “tea” (leaves+water=tea, right?) does not even come close to producing the feelings that using cocaine does. (The countries that practice this probably don’t want a instant doubling, if not tripling, of the population). This is said to be because the cocaine itself is not absorbed as quickly or as much as cocaine in another form would be.
However, it is said that one does feel some very mild effects of drinking this “tea”. Because of this, it has been suggested (and indeed was tested in one country) that having someone who is attempting to overcome a cocaine addiction to drink this infusion can help in the treatment process. The time between relapses is said to be longer (months may pass before one takes the drug again instead of just weeks).
This test did include counseling and therapy along with the coca leaf infusion method. So, it cannot be considered a “stand-alone” treatment. Sort of like using methadone and similar drugs to overcome other drug addictions, maybe? Is that even a good idea? Could coca leaf infusion therapy even be attempted in the US, or would it be like throwing gasoline on a fire? After all, the coca leaves themselves would have to be imported, or permission would have to be given for it to be grown legally.
Sure does leave a lot of room for a lot of things, all of them bad, to happen. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea to even think about?