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What Are The Effects Of Cocaine?

1531 words - 6 pages

Cocaine is a purified extract from the leaves of the Erythroxylum coca bush. The plant grows in the Andes region in South America. There are two forms in which cocaine comes in powdered cocaine, and crack cocaine. Powdered cocaine dissolves in water, and users can snort or inject it.(Goldberg) Crack cocaine is what is commonly known as “crack” or “rock” on the streets; It is made by a chemical process that leaves cocaine in its freebase form which a user can smoke.(Goldberg) Cocaine has many different effects on the user depending on the method of delivery.
There are three different methods a user can deliver cocaine to his body. Those three methods are by snorting powdered cocaine, injecting powdered cocaine, or smoking crack cocaine. Snorting it damages the nose and sinuses, and regular use can cause nasal perforation.(Goldberg) Injecting it can bring out severe allergic reactions and increased risk for contracting HIV and other blood-borne diseases.(Cocaine and Crack) Smoking crack cocaine can irritate the lungs and in some people it can even cause permanent lung damage.(Goldberg) The faster the cocaine is absorbed, the more intense the high will be.(Cocaine)
Cocaine can be a very addicting drug for users. Since cocaine taps into the brain's reward system, users begin to crave more of it to experience the same pleasure again.(Cocaine-Physical Effects) Users who fall prey to it have long-term and life threatening consequences.(Goldberg) Also, compulsive cocaine use may develop faster if the cocaine is smoked rather than snorted or injected.(Cocaine) Some researches did a couple of test on lab mice, to see how fast they would become addicted to it. After one dose of cocaine, researchers found substantial growth of new dendritic spines, which are “tiny, twig-like structures that connect neurons and form the nodes of the brains circuit wiring. These new dendritic spines rewired the brain to seek cocaine.(Wilkey) Once addicted to the drug some people have cocaine binges, which is where they take the drug repetitively over several hours or days. After that binge comes the ‘crash’ were the user feels intensely depressed, lethargy and hunger.(Cocaine-Problems) Lethargy is when you feel lack of energy and lack of enthusiasm as well.
Cocaine affects the users feelings and behavior. Even when taken in small amounts it usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative and mentally alert.(Cocaine) When someone is feeling euphoric they are intensely happy and excited. A user that is mentally alert is very aware of his external surroundings and is also aware of why they or someone else did or said something. Also, a cocaine user is especially mentally alert to the sensation of sight, sound and touch. Cocaine can cause the user to have bizarre or very violent behavior.
The brain is also very affected by the use of cocaine. When using cocaine the rush that the user experiences is the receptors in the brain being flooded with...

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