Cocaine Addiction Information
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Coming back from a drug addiction is difficult to do, especially a cocaine addiction. This powerfully addictive substance, originally native to South America, has caused quite the problem in the United States. Though it is not a secret that cocaine is harmful, it is still sought after in the streets and in suburban neighborhoods alike.

Cocaine comes in a variety of forms. The most common forms are powder and rock. The powder is a fine, granulated white substance is often snorted and dissolved in water and put in a syringe and injected directly into the bloodstream. The other most popular form is a rock, in which the cocaine is condensed with baking soda until it forms a rock. This is also known as “crack cocaine” and is most often smoked in a pipe. Smoking or injecting the drug produces the fastest results, while snorting can take up to 20 minutes for the user to feel the effects. The acute effects of cocaine are a short-term euphoria, energy, and talkativeness in users. As with most drugs, cocaine is used because it works, but the dangers should not be ignored.

Information About Cocaine & Its Effects

Cocaine is a strong neurotransmitter. Upon entry into the body, like many other psychoactive drugs, cocaine stimulates the reward system in the brain, a naturally and causes an overproduction of dopamine. Dopamine is normally released when someone experiences pleasurable situations in life, like eating a favorite dessert. The dopamine is then recycled to the cell that released it before the neuron is shut off. Cocaine prevents the dopamine to be recycled, thus causing the brain to release more and more. This disrupts normal brain function and causes a block in communication between the brain and the cells. Long-term use of cocaine can cause the brain to have a malfunction in this rewards system, leading to the user being unable to feel pleasure from things. This causes the user to go back to the one thing that gave them pleasure, cocaine. This is the beginning cycle of addiction.

Cocaine affects the body just as drastically as the brain. The stimulant causes an increase in blood pressure, body temperature heart rate, and constricts blood vessels. Users are likely to binge on cocaine because the effects do not last for long. This, along with its chemicals decreasing the user’s appetite, leads to malnourishment. Because cocaine use impairs judgment, users tend to have a higher chance of contracting diseases. Sharing needles and having unprotected sex can lead to contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted illnesses. The various methods of ingesting cocaine can lead to difference bodily harm as well. Those who snort are more likely to lose their sense of smell, just as those inhalers are more likely to have long-term lung damage. Extended usage can cause psychosis and paranoia and the effects can be even more dangerous when the drug is combined with others like alcohol or prescription medication. Though users are not likely to keep using just to keep up the habit, studies show. Cocaine users are more likely to keep using the drug to avoid the withdrawal symptoms rather than to experience the highs.

The Hold of Cocaine Addiction

Gary Busey knows full the hold cocaine addiction can have. The star, rising to fame in the 70s and starring in more than 70 films in his career was the victim of cocaine. In an interview with Oprah, Busey described his struggle with addiction. May 3, 1965 Busey overdosed and promised himself he would not touch cocaine again. Though his outlook on life would be altered more from a motorcycle accident than his overdose, Busey kept his promise and is now 18 years clean and sober.

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