CocaineAddiction and Its Effects
1. The DrugCocaine and its History
Cocaine, as the former PR guru Tim Bell put it was once purported tohave observed cocaine is a drug that "makes a good man great.”That was back in the 1980s when the drug relished a trendy image andwas interrelated with the dynamic industries of the times such as thefinancial services and advertising.
Cocaine comes from the leaves of an indigenous South American plantknown as the coca plant that grows in the Andes Mountains.Historically many indigenous tribes around the Andes Mountains havechewed coca leaves to produce a mild, stimulating feeling, and theystill do so to this day (Miller, 2013). Also known as coke or blow,cocaine is a hazardous stimulant that can be found in both crack rockand powdered form. Powdered cocaine is consumed through inhaling itor liquefying the powder and injecting it into the bloodstream. Crackcocaine is disbursed into the bloodstream by heating the cocaine rockin a glass pipe and inhaling the smoke that is produced. The highthat a person gets from cocaine differs depending on the manner inwhich it is expended (Miller, 2013).
The high attained from cocaine consumption lasts only for adiminutive period that forces the consumer into abuse and later onaddiction (Miller, 2013). When cocaine is first consumed a personwill go through a rush characterized by a wave of delightfulfeelings. After a diminutive period, the good feelings disappear andthe cocaine user is left in a state of exhaustion and hopelessness.To sidestep the undesirable symptoms brought on by a crash, cocaineconsumers will take more cocaine and thus leading to addiction in thelong run (Miller, 2013).
The drug works by intensifying the neurotransmitter called dopaminethat is a naturally occurring brain chemical. Dopamine is theneurotransmitter chemical responsible for controlling the brain`spleasure and reward centers. An increase of dopamine in the synapsecreates a sense of euphoria. However, the euphoric feelings declinewith recurrence in use and the primary exhilaration is often trailedby depression. Despite this, that first high can be intenselypleasurable (Chastain, 2013).
Cocaine addiction or dependence is a product of the variations in thefunction and structure of the brain. When consumed cocaine increasesthe intensities of the neurotransmitter dopamine and distresses thecentral nervous system. Eventually, cocaine stops the natural ways ofwhich dopamine is produced in the brain inhibiting it from beingreprocessed back into the brain cells. The individual using cocaine lwill need more and more cocaine so as to experience the euphoric andpleasing feelings they initially had, this is when treatment isrecommended (Chastain, 2013).
3. Legalityand Statistics
The effects of cocaine on the society can be mapped out far back intime. The detrimental effects of cocaine and its destructiveinfluences in Western society were first observed over 100 years ago.The highly negative effects of cocaine steered the formation ofnational and international strict legal controls to curtail the useof cocaine to medical uses only (Chastain, 2013). In the yearsbetween 1910 and 1960, such regulations on cocaine along with socialcondemnation were enough to limit cocaine use to a minor group ofhigh-class people. Nowadays, cocaine is consumed by individuals fromall paradigms of the society. Cocaine can be found in the suburbanliving room for the cocktail hour, the executive suite, the highschool locker room, and the college dorm (Currie, 2011). Statisticsshows that an assessed 1.9 million individuals use cocaine everymonth. Youths between the ages of 18-25 years report greaterproportions of cocaine consumption with 1.5% claiming using cocainein the last month. It has been reported through a lot of researchthat more men use cocaine each month as compared to women.
4. Theeffects of Cocaine on The Society
Cocaine is a toxic, psychoactive and highly addictive drug that hassubstantial psychological and physiological magnitudes upon itsusers. Perhaps even more unfortunate, are the damaging results ofcocaine use on society. The effects of cocaine consumption on thesociety are very visible in the user’s families, workplaces, andcommunities (Currie, 2011). Domestic violence and haphazard acts ofviciousness are evident in the lives of cocaine addicts. Children areoften the innocent victims of cocaine using parents. Childrenconceived by cocaine consumers suffer from the damaging prenatalcontact with the drug. Once born, the children are oft times exposedto parental abuse by their addicted parents (Currie, 2011).
Within the workplace, cocaine is a costly affair in terms of timeand inefficiency and a lot of lost work assignments. Cocaine usersare highly likely than non-users to be subjects of occupationalmisfortunes that endanger themselves and those people around them.Evidence of cocaine’s effects on society is also visible in thehigh drug-related crime statistics. Cocaine consumption can disruptneighborhoods with violence among drug dealers fighting forterritories to sell their product, threats to the neighborhoodresidents, and the crimes perpetrated by the crack addicts themselves(Pierce, 2013). In some areas, young children are hired as lookoutsfor the police and delivery boys because of the small punishmentsgiven to juvenile offenders. Guns have become a common phenomenonamongst adolescents and children in cocaine ridden cities and towns.Another societal problem resulting from cocaine consumption can beseen the homeless folk. A big number of homeless individuals eitherhave a drug problem, alcohol problem, or mental illness. Many of themhave all three (Pierce, 2013).Cocaine is one of the most abusedcontraband drugs in the United States second only to marijuana.Cocaine is mostly used by middle-class Caucasians and collegestudents. Cocaine is a grim subject in American society. Pop cultureportrayal of the drug and society is often attractive and erroneous.Cocaine use has different opinions in societal viewpoints. In highschool cocaine is more as the students prefer marijuana that isconsidered a “lesser” drug, while, in college, cocaine is a partydrug. In the upper-class circles, cocaine is normally used atparties. Cocaine is becoming more and more acceptable due to popculture influences and as a result, it has become widely used(Pierce, 2013).
Besides the psychological complications that often stem fromsustained or extreme cocaine use, there are also some physicalperils. It is projected that the risk of suffering from a heartattack can escalate as much as 20-fold (Pierce, 2013). There is anenormous chance of getting a stroke due to the use of Cocaine.Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that has a rewarding yetrisky short-term effects and overwhelming long- term effects. Problems associated with cocaine abuse have an effect worldwide. TheCocaine epidemic is a problem that society cannot ignore (Pierce,2013). In spite of the erroneous depictions of cocaine by rock starsand pop stars, the reality of cocaine use is very grim. Cocaine is acostly drug, and cocaine sellers may have huge amounts of wealth,cocaine abuse is very perilous. It is statistically proven thatcocaine is a highly addictive drug, both psychologically andphysically. Cocaine can lead to fatal overdose. Despite a majority ofusers may at one point have the ability to financially support theirroutine use, they ultimately become addicts and unable to controltheir consumption. Many cocaine users “chase” getting the highuntil they start to physically deteriorate, indulge with criminals,or sell their possessions to fund their drug needs (Pierce, 2013).
5. Why DoPeople Use Cocaine?
In the modern world, there is so much demand for perfection and to bethe best. To keep up with the petition for exemplary results peoplehave turned on to drugs for the quick fix they need to help themperform better. It is highly common to use something to boost one’sabilities. Some people use stimulants, others use steroids, andwhatever else they feel can meet their need to be superior. Otherpeople may want just a rush that will exceed any natural high. Itmay be very easy for some individuals to be sucked into theconviction that a drug such as cocaine will do for them all what theycan hardy do for themselves. Thus, cocaine is introduced itencounters the need in the beginning then creates a slave out of theuser. The effects of cocaine can be classified as short term and longterm. Within these groups, we can later classify into physical andpsychological effects (Miller, 2013).
6. HowCocaine Affects You as An individual
The short-term physical effects include, heavy breathing and a fastheartbeat coupled with increases in blood pressure and a fever occursafter using a slight dose of cocaine. Huge amounts can result tostrange, unpredictable, or violent behavior. Physical symptoms mayinclude chest pain, blurred vision, nausea, muscle spasms, fever,convulsions, and death from convulsions, heart failure, coma, orbrain failure that causes breathing to discontinue. The short-termpsychological effects include increased paranoia, irritability, andrestlessness (Miller, 2013).Many of the effects that werepreviously mentioned as short-term effects also transpire as longterm effects. However, they are more intense as the quantity used,and the length of use increases. The perils that a person incurs aresupplementary to the method of use. People who regularly snortcocaine usually develop nasal problems including inflammation andholes (Lennard-Brown, 2012). Those who inject cocaine into theirveins escalate their chance of contracting HIV and other bloodtransmitted diseases. Crack users increase the chances of gettingrespiratory infections, and lung cancer. No matter how cocaine isused, there is increased risk of getting a heart attack, respiratoryfailure, chest pain, abdominal pain, strokes and nausea. The toxicityof cocaine irritates the cardiovascular system, brain, and liver(Miller, 2013). Prolonged substantial use appears to damage mentaldexterity, and problem-solving skills, verbal memory for up to 30days after using the drug. Depression is a result of long-termcocaine abuse. Instead of getting high the cocaine consumer has touse cocaine for them not to feel depressed. The high is substitutedby restlessness, mood swings, paranoia, anxiety, irritability, weightloss, sleeplessness, delusions, and psychosis (Miller, 2013).
Cocaine abuse in any arrangement is an unsafe practice that leads toa lot of damages. It is evident to see that no matter the motive forusing it the costs will always dramatically overshadow the benefits. As it is visible, from the initial stages of cocaine use, there havebeen consequences that have led to Death can occur with the firstusage of the drug, or with any succeeding use without warning(Joseph& Stimmel, 2013) . The effects of cocaine misuse whetherthey are physical, psychological, or social are long-term and farreaching. Society needs to do something to inhibit the spread ofcocaine and crack abuse, or history is guaranteed to repeat itselfagain (Joseph& Stimmel, 2013).
Chastain, Z. (2013). Cocaine: The rush to destruction. Broomall, Pa:Mason Crest Publishers.
Currie-McGhee, L. K. (2011). Drug addiction. San Diego, CA:ReferencePoint Press
In Joseph, H., & In Stimmel, B. (2013). The neurobiology ofcocaine addiction: From bench to bedside.
Lennard-Brown, S. (2012). Cocaine. London: Hodder Wayland
Miller, P. M. (2013). Principles of addiction. Amsterdam: ElsevierAcademic Press.
Pierce, R. C., & Kenny, P. J. (2013). Addiction. Cold SpringHarbor, N.Y: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.