Millions of people around the world use Cocaine regularly. It has been used by humans for hundreds of years and the plant that Cocaine is derived from has been utilized for thousands of years. It was originally used for medicinal and religious purposes but later for it’s stimulating and euphoric effects. At first cocaine was believed to be beneficial in aiding multiple health issues but by the early 1900’s it gained recognition for killing thousands of people and being one of the most dangerous drugs known to mankind. In the following paragraphs we will show the facts of what Cocaine does to a person’s mind and body to allow you to see how dangerous this drug truly is.
What is it
In order to fully understand what Cocaine does to you it’s important to learn what it actually is first. The powdered form of it that people snort, the liquified version that’s injected or the rock form created that is smoked is extricated from the coca leaf which is native to the Andes and South America. Cocaine is extracted from the leaf using chemical processes that involve solvents which concentrate the alkaloids from the plant. The known powdered form is then manufactured which is the powerful stimulant and anesthetic that is used recreationally all over the world and is illegal in most countries. It’s used in either powder, liquid or rock form.
How Does it Take Effect When You Ingest it
The absorption of cocaine into the bloodstream is very rapid and it’s effects are fast-acting. The strength and the amount of time its effects or high lasts, depends on the way it’s administered. Cocaine users often describe that the drug produces lots of energy and alertness at first. People become very talkative and excited. Coke users express that they feel a sense of extreme elevated moods and feelings of superiority when they use the drug at first. When it starts to wear off though and they want to sustain their high, they need to snort or use more of it in relatively short periods of time increasing the amounts that they’re ingesting. Repeatedly using the drug like this to maintain your high is what makes Cocaine so dangerously addictive. Users often describe feelings of uncontrollable urges to do whatever it takes to get their hands on the drug, no matter what the consequences. As you can imagine, this is not a good thing. The drug messes with your mind, and after long term usage of it, Cocaine begins to scramble your thoughts as well.
What to Expect with Continued Use
The reality of this expensive drug that has been sensationalized in our society, especially through visual media, would be that it’s toxic to whomever uses it. The physiological and psychological repercussions, including life long damage it brings, far outweighs the temporary pleasure users experience. Many cocaine users fall prey to it’s life threatening effects. The more you use it and the longer you keep using it, the greater the risks become that it will inevitably ruin your life and even kill you.
What Does it Do To You Physically
Cocaine interferers with the normal functioning systems of our body and mind. The detrimental physiological effects that could be experienced is really not worth the mystique of doing blow. As the drug travels through your blood stream it affects your brain and entire body.
• The Heart: Snorting the hydrochloride salt powdered form of Cocaine, inhaling the vapors or smoking the crystalized rock version of it, or liquifying coke with water and injecting it, are all awful for the heart. Which ever of the three ways you chose to administer it Cocaine will compress the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This restricts oxygenated blood to the heart and can trigger arrhythmia’s, cause heart attacks and heart disease even in young people. Cocaine causes increased blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature as well. Cocaine related emergency room visits and deaths in the U.S. are usually the result of cardiac arrest and seizures followed by respiratory failure. Regardless the amount of Cocaine used or how often it is used, the user is prone to experiencing a heart attack or stroke.
• The Lungs & Respiratory: Repeated Cocaine use is toxic to your lungs, nose and entire respiratory system especially when snorted or smoked. Long term Cocaine users experience upper respiratory and pulmonary issues throughout their lives. Cocaine usage actuates all kinds of respiratory problems including shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, nasal infections, nasal damage and eventually more serious pulmonary infections.
• The Kidneys: Cocaine use stresses the kidneys which filter waste products from blood, regulate blood pressure, electrolyte balance and red blood cell production. Waste product buildup in the body can incite all kinds of health issues that cause shortness of breath, weakness, stupor and confusion. Kidney deterioration isn’t worth the short lived pleasure cocaine brings. When your kidney’s fail there are very limited treatments available like dialysis or kidney transplant.
• The Liver: This organ now has to work extra to detoxify and metabolize Cocaine and all of its chemicals from your body. If you drink alcohol and use cocaine the combination of both produce a substance called cocaethylene that is toxic to your liver. Many people that use Cocaine do it when they drink to wake them up from the sleepy effects alcohol produces but they do so without knowing the dangerous chemical compound they’re creating in their blood stream. This metabolite lingers in your liver slowly destroying it while subjecting it, to prolonged periods of stress.
• Appetite: Cocaine represses hunger which eventually leads to malnutrition compromising the bodies’ ability to be able to recover properly. The drug causes stomach damage suppressing urges to eat. Cocaine robs you from being able to get the basic nutritional requirements such as essential vitamins, minerals, calories, protein and all the elements a body needs to be healthy and productive.
What Does it Do to Your Brain and Mind
Aside from the risk factors for strokes and heart attacks, constricted blood flow in the arteries also slows the supply of blood to your brain which can lead to unusual behavior, cause paranoid thoughts, auditory hallucinations and make a person lose touch with reality. The drug heightens senses at first when it is being used then diminishes decision-making skills, a persons focus and attention. It causes depressions, irritability, anxiety and restlessness.
Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that shuts off the signals between communicating nerves in the brain. It’s responsible for increasing the levels of dopamine which are associated with pleasure and movement. This disruption of chemical messengers or neurotransmitters causes increased amounts of dopamine buildup as Cocaine prevents the brain from recycling or reabsorbing it. The excess amount of dopamine is responsible for feeling high or for cocaine’s euphoric effects. With repeated use of the drug a high tolerance for Cocaine develops and users often increase the dosage to try and enhance the high or euphoria. This is what makes Cocaine very addictive. The continued use of it can lead to dependency and increase detrimental psychological effects.
The Comedown and Reality of What Cocaine Does
After the Cocaine high wears off and the reality of it’s detrimental attributes set in, the user will experience a multitude of psychological and physiological negative health issues. The reality of this sensationalized drug is that abusing it will only hamper the user from being a productive member of society because of the way it disrupts your mind, scrambles your thinking process, and changes the manner you feel and act around people. In addition to the psychological issues Cocaine brings it will inevitably actuate physical health problems ranging from respiratory problems, heart issues, liver or kidney troubles and will inevitably age you very quickly. The drug is very addictive and ruins lives. It will either wreck your relationships with family, friends and others, or get you in trouble with the law, bankrupt you, make you homeless or eventually kill you.