Cocaine Abuse Essay

1506 Words Aug 19th, 2013 7 Pages
Cocaine Abuse
Carla Baker
COM/156
August 18, 2013
Stanley Weiss

Cocaine Abuse According to a national survey performed in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 35.9 million Americans aged 12 and older have tried cocaine at least once in their lifetime and approximately 2.1 million Americans are regular users (Substance Abuse & Mental Health, 2012). Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that has gratifying yet dangerous short term physical effects, devastating long term physical effects, and intense psychological effects. Cocaine is a crystalline atropine alkaloid that is produced from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine was first introduced into the United States in the 1880’s, where
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Users who inject cocaine can experience puncture marks in their skin that can easily become infected and turn into an abscess, allergic reactions to the drug, and the increased risk of contracting HIV and/or AIDS. Last, cocaine has intense psychological effects. Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain and the central nervous system. Many users are unaware of the psychological effects that cocaine has on the brain. The user is mainly worried about using the drug and getting “high” and not the effects that the drug has on their body and brain. Cocaine is a psychoactive drug affecting the central nervous system. Cocaine eats away chunks of the brain and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, often for the rest of the user’s life. Cocaine users are far more likely to suffer from coronary aneurysms than non-cocaine users. The use of cocaine weakens the blood vessels in the heart and the brain, and this can cause aneurysms to form. The risks of cocaine use are multiplied because not only will the chemicals of cocaine continue to weaken the blood vessels, but the irritability and panic associated with cocaine use can also cause an aneurysm to bleed, which can then result in death. Cocaine has numerous effects on many important neurotransmitters in the brain. However, the most dramatic effect is on the increase as well as the release of dopamine into the brain. Excessive levels of dopamine

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