Cocaine Abuse

Surely, when someone hears the word cocaine, all he/she could think of is addiction. Cocaine seems to connote a negative idea and even more, a negative emotion towards people. Indeed, it is a substance known to be easily abused and thus, users eventually become addicted to it and the cycle goes on and on. Like any other drugs, cocaine addiction can harm lives. It changes anyone, his perspectives, his motives, perception, and behaviors.

The substance cocaine is a very potent substance. It is extracted from the leaves of coca bush. Cocaine consists of two primary forms. One is the powdery type. It is used for snorting up the nose. The second is freebase, which is better recognized as crack cocaine, used for smoking. Few cocaine addicts use it. When cocaine is snorted, the cocaine powder gets inhaled up into the nose where it is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Once cocaine reaches the brain, dopamine gets released, stimulating pleasurable feelings. Crack cocaine, known as crack, is the name for the smokable form of cocaine. Crack is the street name given to the form of cocaine that has been processed into a smokable substance. Smoking crack cocaine sends large amounts of the drug to the lungs, giving you an quick and powerful euphoric feeling. The high is usually very strong, but does not last very long. The rocks of crack cocaine are ignited in a crack pipe and the following vapors get deeply inhaled.

A person abuses the use of cocaine when he takes in the drug for pleasure purposes and in inappropriate dosage. With frequent use, the individual becomes tolerant with the drug and then becomes dependent with it. The person seemed to be craving for the drug every now and then. Cocaine addiction is characterized as continuously craving for the drug although the negative consequences of cocaine to the person’s body and mind. The physical signs of cocaine abuse can vary, depending on the person. For one, cocaine acts as an appetite suppressant so cocaine abusers often aren’t hungry and end up losing considerable amounts of weight.

Getting addicted to cocaine is like submitting yourself to be controlled by the drug. Cocaine addicts are normally not interested with ordinary activities because they only focus on obtaining and taking the drug. Thus, people around these addicts are affected because they act together every day. Cocaine dependence often involves not only habitual cocaine use but also a wide range of dysfunctional behaviors. This can often interfere with normal functioning in the family, workplace and community. Cocaine addiction also can put people at increased risk for a wide variety of other illnesses. These illnesses can be brought on by the addiction type behaviorswhich includes poor living and health habits that often accompany the lifestyle of an addict and the toxic effects of the cocaine itself.

Experts in the field of medicine is focusing their time on the certain drug that can cure cocaine addiction.This certain drug is called the GBR 12909, a compound tested to be used as an antidepressant. With GBR 12909, the patients’ cocaine-seeking behaviors were gone within a few hours without affecting food-seeking behavior. Studies have shown that both GBR 12909 and cocaine slow down the action of a protein called the dopamine transporter. By slowing down the transporter, both GBR 12909 and cocaine promote the levels of the pleasure-inducing chemical messenger dopamine outside the nerve cells, a process that increases and prolongs dopamine’s pleasurable effects. However, GBR 12909 works more gradually and pumps up dopamine levels less than does cocaine. By attaching to the dopamine transporter, GBR 12909 also blocks cocaine from binding there. GBR 12909’s chemical attractiveness for the transporter is 500 times that of cocaine, so it binds to the transporter and stays there for a long time. While it’s sitting on the transporter, cocaine cannot enter to the transporter, so the cocaine can no longer act to induce euphoria. The therapy using GBR 12909 should be prolonged so that the medication to have time to carry the dopamine transporter levels back to where they were before the patient started taking cocaine. The breakthrough in the discovery of GBR 12909 could be a gateway to help cocaine addiction victims in dealing with the problem they are so afraid to face.

Cocaine addiction is quite a hard condition. One should seek medical attention.




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