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Effects of Cocaine
Addiction to Cocaine
Complications of Cocaine Abuse
Help For Addiction
is the most intoxicating stimulant of natural origin, a bitter addictive
anesthetic (pain killer) which is extracted from the leaves of the coca
scrub indigenous to the Andean highlands of South America.
Illegal cocaine is normally sold as a white powder or as white, chunky
material commonly referred to as “rock”. Cocaine base is converted
into powder (usually cocaine hydrochloride) by mixing and diluting it
with other substances. This dilution of cocaine decreases potency per
gram, therefore increasing totally profitability of the entire cocaine
are some of the effects of cocaine use?
In addition to these
long-term side effects, a substantial tolerance to cocaine can occur.
The result is that many cocaine addicts fail to achieve the same high
with cocaine as they once did. The result is that cocaine users will increase
their cocaine doses to make their high similar to where it once was.
While tolerance to
cocaine can occur, users can conversely become more sensitive to cocaine's
effects without raising the amount of cocaine taken. This apparent sensitivity
may explain some deaths occurring after apparently low doses of cocaine.
Use of cocaine in
a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly
high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness,
and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which
the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations.
Cocaine is an extremely
addictive cocaine. After first trying cocaine, a person can have a great
difficulty controlling the extent to which they will continue to use cocaine.
Cocaine is a powerfully
addictive drug. Thus, an individual may have difficulty predicting or
controlling the extent to which he or she will continue to want or use
the drug. Cocaine’s stimulant and addictive effects are thought
to be primarily a result of its ability to inhibit the reabsorption of
dopamine by nerve cells. Dopamine is released as part of the brain’s
reward system, and is either directly or indirectly involved in the addictive
properties of every major drug of abuse.
An appreciable tolerance to cocaine’s high may develop, with many
addicts reporting that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure
as they did from their first experience. Some users will frequently increase
their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. While tolerance
to the high can occur, users can also become more sensitive (sensitization)
to cocaine’s anesthetic and convulsant effects, without increasing
the dose taken. This increased sensitivity may explain some deaths occurring
after apparently low doses of cocaine.
Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and
at increasingly high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability,
restlessness, and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis,
in which the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory
are the medical complications of cocaine abuse?
There can be severe
medical complications associated with cocaine use. Some of the most frequent
complications are cardiovascular effects, including disturbances in heart
rhythm and heart attacks; respiratory effects such as chest pain and respiratory
failure; neurological effects, including strokes, seizures, and headaches;
and gastrointestinal complications, including abdominal pain and nausea.
Cocaine use has been linked to many types of heart disease. Cocaine has
been found to trigger chaotic heart rhythms, called ventricular fibrillation;
accelerate heartbeat and breathing; and increase blood pressure and body
temperature. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, nausea, blurred
vision, fever, muscle spasms, convulsions, coma, and death.
Different routes of cocaine administration can produce different adverse
effects. Regularly snorting cocaine, for example, can lead to loss of
sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and
an overall irritation of the nasal septum, which can lead to a chronically
inflamed, runny nose. Ingested cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene,
due to reduced blood flow. And, persons who inject cocaine have puncture
marks and “tracks,” most commonly in their forearms. Intravenous
cocaine users may also experience an allergic reaction, either to the
drug, or to some additive in street cocaine, which can result, in severe
cases, in death. Because cocaine has a tendency to decrease food intake,
many chronic cocaine users lose their appetites and can experience significant
weight loss and malnourishment.
revealed a potentially dangerous interaction between cocaine and alcohol.
Taken in combination, the two drugs are converted by the body to cocaethylene.
Cocaethylene has a longer duration of action in the brain and is more
toxic than either drug alone. While more research needs to be done, it
is noteworthy that the mixture of cocaine and alcohol is the most common
two-drug combination that results in drug-related death.
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