The Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is one of the most powerful illegal drugs when it comes the psychological dependence it has on its user. It stimulates key pleasure centers that are held within the brain, and cause extremely heightened euphoria. Many users develop a tolerance and the addict all too quickly fails to sustain the same high they experienced earlier from the same amount of cocaine.

Addicts who abuse cocaine will exhibit psychotic and mental behavior such as; mood swings, hallucinations, and repetitive behaviors. The psychological and behavioral effects of cocaine in users have been well tested, and the current knowledge of the neurological basis for the abuse of cocaine in within the addicts however still remain limited. Most of knowledge we currently possess about the mechanisms of the effects of cocaine come from animal studies.

Through testing what they have found is that cocaine is an indirect dopamine agonist that targets the brain, and works in large part by occupying and or blocking, the dopamine transporter sites in the terminal buttons of neurons in the brain. Dopamine has been associated in several important functions such as; movement, attention, learning, and reinforcing the effects of the cocaine use. By using the drug the addict is leaving their body vulnerable, and therefor open to all health risks.

Health Risks Caused by Cocaine:

  • Heart Attack
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Strokes
  • Seizures
  • Permanent Damages to the Lungs
  • Perforation of the Nasal Cavities
  • Ulcers
  • Perforations of the Stomach
  • Decreased Sexual Function
  • Severe Skin Infections and Lesions
  • Death

Still with so many medical issues and risks, users of the drug would rather have the high of the drug than their health. Currently, there are approximately 14% of adults in the United States that are reported to have tried cocaine, with one and every forty of them using it within this past year. It is essential that addicts understand the risks, and what their bodies go through with this drug.

A large factor of those statistics as well is how many people fail at giving up their addictions. Sometimes, the withdraw symptoms can be just as difficult for someone to go through. Many individuals will experience physical withdraw, however there is also a psychological withdraw that they must get through as well. Some symptoms of both physical and psychological withdraw are:

  • Cold Sweats
  • Tremors
  • Twitching
  • Increased need for Sleep
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Fear
  • Nightmares
  • Psychomotor Retardation
  • Depression
  • Mood Swings

The most important thing to understand when quitting cocaine, or any drug is that having urges is something that is going to be a part of that withdraw level. Sometimes they will be incredibly powerful, but dealing with them properly, rather than giving in and damaging your body is important. Most deaths occur once an individual has been in recovery for a long period of time and relapses. Once they relapse, they go back to the amount of cocaine they were previously taking and overdose since their bodies no longer have a tolerance built up.