Mind Over Matter: The Effects Of Cocaine

679 words - 3 pages

Coca plants may be just a plant. However, coca contains a popular and much known element that is extracted from its leaves and traced back many decades ago. An element that is manipulated and can be transformed into a mind altering, euphoric, and abused substance. The effects of Cocaine are not only to the body, but our main control center, the Central Nervous system.
Whether snorted or smoked cocaine’s psychoactive effects are known to be euphoric causing a spike in energy, alertness, and allowing the abuser to become more talkative. Also, the user handles tasks physically and intellectually quicker (Cocaine; 1999). When we achieve a pleasurable moment such as eating, having sex, or accomplishing a goal we release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is released in the midbrain through a process called synapse. During synapse one neuron electrically transitions into a chemical and transmits to the other neuron. The end of one neuron is called a presynaptic terminal, the beginning of the other neuron is called a postsynaptic cleft and the space between where they essentially connect is called a synaptic cleft. It is in the synaptic cleft where neurotransmitters are released and then bonded to protein receptors to help the process of releasing dopamine. When the dopamine has done its job it then releases from the receptors and fuses back into the presynaptic cleft to be recycled and awaits the next signal to release again1.
When cocaine inters the bloodstream then to the midbrain it releases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the synaptic cleft where it blocks the ability for dopamine to reuptake back into the presynaptic cleft. Allowing dopamine to remain in the synaptic cleft for longer causes pleasure to prolong more than normal (Animated; 1997). Too much dopamine inside the synaptic cleft for too long causes your brain to produce less of it. The abuser will eventually need the drug to sustain normal dopamine release. Tolerance leads to addiction one reason tolerance occurs is because the liver releases enzymes that aids in detoxifying drugs.2 If the drug use is repeated it heightens the production of...

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