Cocaine Addiction Information
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cocaineThis may seem like a trick question, but no. NO IT DOES NOT. Popular culture has painted cocaine with this façade of elegance, celebrity, and power. Movies like “Blow” and “Scarface” begin with showing the glamour that comes with cocaine, parties, beautiful men and women, power, and toys. The truth is these movies or documentaries like “Cocaine Cowboys” always end in defeat. The star or hero is either dead, broke, or in jail. All the interviews have these individuals in their glamorous orange jump suit or stunning efficiency apartment in the bad part of town. The stories do not end like fairy tales because cocaine destroys peoples lives.

Cocaine – One of the Oldest and Most Dangerous Drugs

The Coca is one of the oldest and still most dangerous plants in the world. It was discovered in the Andes, before the birth of Christ. The Andes Indians chewed the plant to gain energy, reduce hunger, and speed heart beats to combat the harsh living conditions of their high altitude. The plant was mainly used in religious ceremonies, which included feeding to children so that they could make the climb to the sacrificial summit of the mountain. Until, Spanish invaders forced the Indians to use the plant, so that they could work more in the silver mines.

Fast forward several centuries, when during the 70’s it became the popular party drug. In the 1980’s it was called the “rich man’s” drug because of its high cost. Then it was transformed into crack, a cheap, addictive high synonymous with crime, death, and poverty. Now the drug cartels have a massive labyrinth of fields, factories and distributors making it a highly illegal trafficked drug. Which unfortunately, the most tragic of victims are the babies born from mothers using cocaine during pregnancy. Who are born premature, with stunted growth, birth defects, and damage to brain and nervous system.

Cocaine Abuse & Addiction Major Problem

An international survey of cocaine use, has it as the second most trafficked drug in the world. Seized cocaine now totals 756 metric tons, with the largest quantities caught in South America; second in North America. There is an estimated 7.5million young people, ages 15 to 34, who have consumed cocaine in their in their lifetime, 3.5 in the past year, 1.5 million in the past month; this according to the European Monitoring Centre on drugs and drug addiction. In 2008, the National Survey on Drug use and health estimated there were 1.9 million current cocaine users in the U.S. Of those 1.9 million there are 359,000 were crack cocaine users. There are a higher percentage of users among adults ages 18 to 25, while there was a 1.5% user rate among young adults. The percentage of male users is high than that of female users.

The 2009 monitoring the future survey collected information estimating a significant decline in cocaine powder use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders; which produces its information by surveying teens attitudes and drug use. They also reported a large decline in past-month drug use among 10th and 12th graders in 2008-2009. Nearly 1.4 million Americans met the criteria for dependence or abuse of cocaine, by the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. A more recent survey, in 2012, has drug use in decline since 2007 at 1.7 million compared to 2.1 million Americans, respectively. As of 2012 there were a reported 1.1 million people who were cocaine abusers or dependents.

Cocaine Damages the Body

Cocaine affects the way the brain sends and receives messages. The chemical messengers, neurotransmitters, which are the nerves used to transmit signals are manipulated. Neurotransmitters norephinehrine, serotonin, and dopamine are blocked from being reabsorbed by cocaine. This blockage in result gives the individual the ‘high’ or euphoria from cocaine use. Attacking the central nervous system cocaine increases the levels of dopamine in the brains ‘reward center’.

Normal dopamine function happens when you experience something good; the cell sends a signal to the neurotransmitter which releases dopamine in the brain. Then sends a return signal back to the cell that originally sent signal, thus terminating signal between neurons. Cocaine reacts in the body by sending signals to release dopamine, but without shutting off that signal; leading to an overflow of dopamine. This process is what gives cocaine its’ unmistakable high. Long term use can cause significant effects on the brains reward system. While cocaine effects the brain it also, causes increased heart rate, dilated pupils, increases blood pressure, and constricts blood vessels. The most severe cases are heart attacks or stokes, which can lead to death. HIV contraction is an effect because of the poor judgment in sexual activity when using cocaine. Consistent snorting of cocaine can lead to runny nose, nose bleeds, hoarseness, loss of sense of smell, problems swallowing, severe bowel gangrene, and complete destruction of nasal cavity. By smoking crack cocaine, addicts can permanently damage lungs. By constricting blood vessels in the stomach, cocaine can cause ulcers, perforation of the stomach or intestines.

Rhabdomyolysis is caused by cocaine abuse, which is a overwhelming and sudden kidney failure. Cocaine abuse will effect the brain and in conjunction mood, temperament. Abuse will lead to irritability, restlessness, anxiety, and even severe paranoia. Cocaine can lead to seizures and can lead to bizarre or violent behavior. Mixing with other drugs can also lead to more problems, like alcohol. A common mixture of cocaine and heroin called “speed ball”, often results in overdose. When coming down from a cocaine high or binge the individual feels a deep depression as well as enormous fatigue.

The Mental & Emotional Effects of Cocaine Use

Popular culture and society might have made cocaine seem like the party drug or perfect pick me up, it is often what drags the user down; as well as the party. The effects of cocaine use are nearly immediate, the cocaine abuser can feel the drug working within minutes of consumption. Giving them increased energy, alertness, and increased social ability. While these attributes may seem like positives for socialization and parties it can have a more negative effect. Cocaine users have very high energy that stands out significantly to all those around them. Making them very suspicious, especially since it needs to be read ministered ever hour or half-hour to keep the high. That seclusion will raise questions, as well as the unnecessary energy and conversation that it causes.

Many cocaine addicts can not tell they are talking to much or too quickly making them a burden at any gathering. Even more unwelcoming is the perspiration caused by over-heating and hyper action. The heightened sense of euphoria will make the individual seem invincible and or life of the party. Image the crazy cousin at your sisters wedding that only leaves the dance floor to use the restroom or grab a bottle of water, which he or she may pour on their heads like a football player would at a game. Meanwhile, while ‘cutting a rug’ they inappropriately dance with the groom or bride with their tie off, clothing undone, hands in the air, while also shouting. This type of behavior is embarrassing for everyone and isdefinitely unwelcome.


Cocaine, in short, does not have any health benefits. If you or someone you know is suffering from cocaine addiction it is important to seek help. By contacting a addiction advisor you can get yourself or someone you know on the track to sobriety.