Cocaine is a strong and addictive drug aimed to stimulate the central nervous system increasing the levels of pleasure and movement. Cocaine may either be powdered (“coke” or blow”) or crack (“rock”) in form.
Dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in movement regulation and emotional responses, are increased as the drug shuts down the portals of which the dopamine are supposed to return after released (recycling). Thus, the user may feel energetic, happy and excited, then after a few minutes, he/she can become angry, nervous or afraid that someone’s out there to get him/her. When the drug wears off, the user will feel exhausted and sad for days which lead to crave for the drug again to feel better.
Cocaine Addiction and Cravings:
Cocaine addiction results in the body building a tolerance to the drug itself as well as the increased dopamine. Over time the cocaine addict must use larger amounts of cocaine to achieve the same intensity of effect. Cocaine produces its psychoactive and addictive effects primarily by acting on the brain’s limbic system, a set of interconnected regions that regulate pleasure and motivation.
Signs of Cocaine Abuse:
- Dilated pupils
- High levels of energy and activity
- Excited speech
- Decreased appetite
- Concentration difficulty
- Increase: heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature
- Bizarre and violent behavior
- Nasal perforation (formation of a hole)
- Kidney failure
- Impaired sexual function
- Loss of sense of smell, runny nose and nosebleeds (due to snorting cocaine)
- Increase potential to blood-borne diseases (HIV/Hepa C)
The better you know, the better you can help! If a friend or a family member needs help, refer them to TruVida Recovery – Orange County @ 949-388-3866.