12 Dec Cocaine: An Overview
Cocaine use is a widespread problem in our country and the drug is becoming even easier to obtain. It is made from the coca plant and is available in different levels of purity. Like other illegal drugs, cocaine is an addictive substance that negatively affects the health of people who use it.
The high associated with cocaine gives the user an initial sensation of euphoria and movement, followed by an increased sense of energy. However, a cocaine high is short-lived compared to other stimulants, like meth, and a user must repeat their dosage often to maintain it. As tolerance builds up, larger amounts of the drug are needed to produce a high, which increases dependency.
Cocaine is a stimulant that increases the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for providing pleasurable feelings. Cocaine causes so much dopamine to build up in the brain that normal communication is inhibited, which affects the performance of the whole body. This can cause long-term damage to the brain that worsens over time as a dependency is formed.
Cocaine can be injected intravenously or snorted up the nose. The most commonly used and least expensive form of cocaine is called “crack.” Crack is cocaine that has been processed to make rock crystal that can be smoked. Cocaine is then absorbed through the lungs, producing an almost instantaneous high. Although crack is the most popular form of the drug, it is a very dangerous form. Because it has been concentrated, crack is easier to overdose on and provides a violent reaction when mixed with other drugs. It is also more habit forming than regular cocaine.
Although the levels of reported cocaine abuse are declining in recent studies, this drug still poses a problem to the health of our population. Other drugs have become less expensive, but cocaine is still widely used by those who have built up a tolerance to other drugs. Once a cocaine habit is formed, its strong addictive properties make it difficult for a person to stop using.