Cocaine and the Nervous System

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Biology 202
2003 First Web Paper
On Serendip

Cocaine and the Nervous System

Elizabeth Damore

All drugs have a negative effect on the nervous system, but few can match the dramatic impact of cocaine. Cocaine is one of the most potent, addictive, and unpredictable recreational drugs, and thus can cause the most profound and irreversible damage to the nervous system. The high risk associated with cocaine remains the same regardless of whether the drug is snorted, smoked, or injected into the user's bloodstream. In addition to the intense damage cocaine can cause to the liver, intestines, heart, and lungs, even casual use of the drug will impair the brain and cause serious damage to the central nervous system. Although cocaine use affects many components of the body, including vision and appetite, the most significant damage cause by cocaine takes place in the brain and central nervous system.

Spanish explorers first observe South American natives chewing the cocoa leaf, from which cocaine is derived, when they arrived on the continent in 16th century. The South Americans chewed these cocoa leaves in order to stay awake for longer periods of time. Centuries after this initial discovery, Albert Neiman isolated cocaine from the cocoa leaf in 1860. Neiman used this extraction as an anesthetic. Over the ensuing years, cocaine use became increasingly common and was even sanctioned by doctors, who prescribed the drug to aid recovering alcoholics. Cocaine was even a key ingredient in such popular beverages as Coca- Cola. It was not until the long-term health problems associated with cocaine use emerged that the public realized that the drug was harmful and highly addictive (2).

Cocaine is a versatile drug which can be ingested in a variety of ways. In its purest form, cocaine is a white powder extracted directly form the leaves of the cocoa plant. However, in the modern drug market, pure cocaine is often tempered with a variety of substances in order to make cocaine more profitable for drug dealers (5). The most common way to ingest powdered cocaine is to inhale the drug through one's nasal passage, where the cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream by way of the nasal tissues. Cocaine can also be injected directly into a vein with a syringe. Finally, cocaine smoke can be inhaled into the lungs, where it flows into the bloodstream as quickly as when injected into a vein. In 1985, crack cocaine was invented, which is the optimal form of cocaine for smoking (2). While most cocaine is created through a complex process requiring ether and other unstable and expensive substances, crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or baking soda. Crack cocaine has gained popularity as the drug is cheaper and provides a more potent immediate high than snorting cocaine (6). However, those who smoke cocaine run a higher risk of becoming addicted to the drug, as more cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream through this method of ingestion (1).

Cocaine produces its pleasurable high by interfering with the brain's "pleasure centers" where such chemicals as dopamine are produced. The drug traps an excess amount of dopamine in the brain, causing an elevated sense of well being. Cocaine acts as a stimulant to the body. In turn, the drug cause blood vessels to restrict, increases the body's temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, and cause the pupils to dilate (4). Cocaine also increases one's breathing rate. Cocaine causes such pleasurable effects as reduced fatigue, increased mental clarity, and a rush of energy. However, the more one takes cocaine, the less one feels its pleasurable effects, which causes the addict to take higher and higher doses of cocaine in an attempt to recapture the intensity of that initial high (1). In any case, a cocaine high does not last very long. The average high a user gets from snorting cocaine only lasts for 15-30 minutes. These highs are less intense, as it takes longer for the drug to be absorbed into the bloodstream when snorted. A smoking high, although more intense due to the rapidity in which the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, lasts for an even shorter period of only about five to ten minutes (5). After the euphoric high comes the crashing low, in which the addict craves more of the drug and in larger doses (2).

Cocaine can cause serious long-term effects to the central nervous system, including an increased chance of heart attack, stroke, and convulsions, combined with a higher likelihood of brain seizures, respiratory failures, and, ultimately, death (2). An overdose of cocaine raises blood pressure to unsafe heights, often resulting in permanent brain damage or even. Coming down off of cocaine is highly unpleasant, as the user may feel nauseous, irritable, and paranoid. Also, in some cases, a sudden death may occur, although it is impossible to predict who could be killed suddenly by cocaine ingestion. Crack cocaine in particular heightens paranoia in its users, who have the more difficulty quitting the drug than other cocaine users (6).

Many studies have been done which analyze the impact of cocaine on the brain itself. By inhibiting the brains release of dopamine and other neurochemicals, cocaine can cause serious and often irreversible damage to neurons within the brain. In autopsies, cocaine users had a reduced number of dopamine neurons (7). When flooded with the excess of dopamine created during a cocaine high, the brain reacts by making less dopamine, getting rid of this excess, and shutting down the dopamine neurotransmitters, sometimes permanently. In turn, many cocaine users feel depressed once they go off of the drug, which makes cocaine is highly addictive. Many addicts report that they crave the drug more than food, and laboratory animals will endure starvation and electroshocks if they can still have the drug (3).

Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs for the central nervous system. As a powerful stimulant, cocaine increases the likelihood of many fatal nervous system malfunctions, including stroke. However, the high initially gotten from cocaine keeps its addicts looking for more, as this highly addictive drug can be difficult to quit. Also, as the neurotransmitters shut down and disappear, the user needs cocaine to create an artificial high. Cocaine can cause serious damage to the nervous system, as it eats away chunks of the brain and increases blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature, often for the rest of the addict's life.

References

1)Drug information: Cocaine

2)Cocaine

3)The Effects of Cocaine on the Developing Nervous System

4)The Physical Effects of Cocaine

5)As a Matter of Fact

6)Crack and Cocaine

7)Cocaine Brain Damage may be Permanent

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

01/10/2006, from a Reader on the Web

COCOA LEAVES?!

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007

It's the COCA plant ... Ryan, 21 March 2006

 

 

What are the affects, if any, are there is one were to ingest it by simply swallowing the powder? ... Reader on the web, 23 September 2006

 

 

Do you mean cocoa leaf or coca leaf??? ... Ron, 10 January 2007

Comments

carson brown's picture

cocain

I actually was reading this for a project and i thaught it was kinda cool i was actually doing this drug i am in the 7th grade and i think its a verry interresyting ddrug it was in cocola a long time ago

morgan jackson's picture

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Chamberlain Pat's picture

Cocaine is not your friend

Hello I was just on the computer and came across this blog about cocaine; I have witnessed the strong impact this drug can have over our mind and will. I found great insight by reading many of your inputs; all I can say is the best cure is JESUS CHRIST. I seen many come out of rehab and end right back on it, regardless of being influenced by others or not. Casting all of your cares on God for He cares for you, and if you truly believe, He will give you the desires of your heart. He is close to us when we are at out worst, so cry out to Him, for He wants so much to help you. I love you all especially the one that are going thru this addiction; there is hope today, trust and believe in God, He is still on the throne and He still works miracle, I will be praying for you guys, with all my heart Amen

naomi's picture

the devils drug

make no mistake this drug is in my opinion the most powerful of all drugs and im saying this based on living with someone who was a hard core user. the urge to use is so intense that the addict will cross any bounderies to get it, stealing , lying , cheating, manipulating, it all takes place and the addict looses all sense of morals and values, repeating the same behaviors over and over with no sense of remorse, sorry is just a word that carries no weight or substance as the addict is in the pursuit of his next hit. crack cocaine is so powerful because the high is so short lived craving for another hit and another hit trying to attain the initial high that will never be duplicated unless more is used. Its a vicious cycle , the crack addict will hurt and destroy peoples lives leaving the victim with an overwellming amout of emotional, financial stress and crack cocaine definately makes chronic users violent in which case can bring on physical abuse. In my case i was left homeless , do yourself a favor walk away before one of you dies. You cant combat this monster alone, most people who dont get help end up in jails, institutions or dead

linda bingham's picture

cocaine

I have a 40 yr. old daughter who is complaining of hand pain. She has jerky movements. She is alert and talks ok . Eyes are shiney like cat eyes. I'm really worried about her , she won.t go to the er. What can I do ? what do i do ?

carson brown's picture

well honey it sounds like she

well honey it sounds like she is on acid or she is on coke or weed

Serendip Visitor's picture

hello

hello, i am a house wife. i have three childerns.my first son manoaj. second son name pavankumar.manoaj no more. he is january 4th dead. he is over smoker, and drinker.manoaj brain damage.nakku manoaj drinkerani nejamaga teleayadu, manoaj seperate family.he have two babys.4yearsold, three yeras old.my family was very sad.manoaj age 29years.manoaj birthday april19th1980.but i tell. all peoples very carefull. alchol,smoking very dangers.he life is spoil.please dont bad habbits,all peoples happy. you familys happy.he is sudden death.my fami.ly members very sad. manoaj childrens and wife very cry. manoaj wife age 26years old.she life spoil.all mothers and brothers safe ga wundalante.not drinking, and smoking, and bad freindeship.

bye bye one mother.

My ex uses's picture

I'm in the military and had a

I'm in the military and had a random UA last month. Yesterday I was notified that I failed and tested positive for cocaine. I have never used a day in my life. However, my ex uses, and I am devastated that I failed. We are still sexually active and I believe this is the reason. I'm in the process of possibly being discharged and I feel like my life is over! How do I prove that I wasn't using??

Serendip Visitor's picture

the only way that it can be

the only way that it can be in your sytem is if it was crack cocaine and they were smoking with you in the room or close by, however the traits would be so little that it wouldnt not show up in a text, unless they used the hair. You can not get traces of anydrug by sleeping with the person using. So theres a couple ideas hear either you ate somthing that had been spiked by the drug, however this is not most likly the way, because swalowing of the drug, can result in death. Or maybe you smoke a joint that was possible laced with cocaine, and never knew it. This is most likly the way of admin.. This are the things I know, I do have experience I am a former crak head with 6 yrs clean, and Now in school to become an additions worker, than A Minister so I see this everyday. I hope this was helpful to you. If you smoked a joint, I recommend you come clean with your Sups. Because it also can be a danger to you as well if somone is laceing your ciggertes or other things with this drug. You willl notice signs of your lips and ,outh going numb, along with an over powering feel of being super alerts awake and strong... Sorry I couldnt help more

Just concernd
London Ontario
Canada

Serendip Visitor's picture

When i read your comment i

When i read your comment i was really intrested in how you tested positive when you have never used.
If i can as what ended up happening?

Serendip Visitor's picture

what ended up happening ?

Hey, I was cruising the internet to find out why I tested positive for cocaine when I have NOT ever done cocaine, and I came across
your post. What ended up happening to you? did you end up getting discharged? (hopefully not.. )
Did you find out how coke ended up in your UA?

Ava

Serendip Visitor's picture

Cant give up

Im 26 n have been using on n off for 4 years. Coke has destroyed parts of me I will never get back. Its like I do great for about ten months then relapse. The more I try to hide it the worse it gets. Every time is the "last time". I love my boys n im a great mom. I hate that once again I gave in. I used 4times in the last 2 weeks,im losing myself again.i dont know how to fix it.the desire keeps winning. But I gotta fight if not for me for them.

angela's picture

there is away you can bet it

Hello,i feel for you and i have been down that road for two yrs.and off for almost three and here i go again.this happened on,off for seven or so more years .i found out how to stop.and i havent touched a thing foreten years.if you will contact me by my e-mail we can talk some more about this ugly drug..what do you think ?(if i can help you save yourself and mabe prevent your sons from seeing something that you may not even think that the may know about it..all i can say is this my friend IT SURE FELLS GOOD .... life is to short for one to late a feel ood moment to make you lose all you have and all you love for a two minute high..please contact me if you need someone to reach out too..Hope to hear from you soon.......

Serendip Visitor's picture

Brittney

Hey ive been feeling really wired its been five month since I done it I done it twice should I be feeling like this did you ever have a wired feeling

Leon's picture

Cocaine

Hi
I always felt weird , reason being if you never come down
Properly ie :never go more than day or so without
Coke then how does the brain know how to feel
Trying to be & remember how you were is gone
Takes long time to get back some sort of feeling of how you used to be , that's why having another
Line or two takes the unexpected away for a while but keep fighting
& the signs will show them selves which should let you know
That you can do it !
I'm clean well over two yrs now , life's without if fairly boring
As I don't drink out as that's where I feel down a lot if it was offered
But now I look at future it's hard trying to recover the lost yrs
But think of the ones you have left !!!
Lots of happiness to be had !

Serendip Visitor's picture

have an interesting question on coke.

Hi I am a 26 yr old male and I had been doing coke for 9 years . Now obese very addicted to it ibwent through paranoia and all that dependancy . But I quit for a while and i did a few lines and the high was not how it had been for yrs. I couldn't talk couldn't move and felt like I was going to pass out . I just curious if you know what i mean . I have no intention of using ever again it ruined my life but i want to talk to kids about using and i am not sure how to describe it

Macario Huerta's picture

Cocaine

Well I used cocaine last saturday. So yes and it is February 4th 2012 right now. Also I am scared of the fact that there can be sudden death. That really sucks. Well I need your help. I want my senses back. I took a shower about 10 mins ago. And after every shower the pleasure senses come back. Also my ear poped and it felt good. So I know my brain is telling me that my pleasures are coming back. So my question is will my body know that this bad drug called cocaine is no longer part of my body and my life. Also after using cocaine and coming down from it is not a good feeling at all. Also I am 24 years old and my birthday is the 24th of this month. smh man what a shame. I am a 24 year old hispanic male who weights about 245. I need some help how I can beat this stupid drug out of my system. :)

carson brown's picture

happy birf day

happy birf day

lyndsy's picture

cocaine

Hi I would like to know how you have stopped doing cocaine for good, please share your secret. Thank you

Serendip Visitor's picture

My husband used for about 3

My husband used for about 3 years after his parents died in 2007 now after being clean he has went out to get it again saids he wanted it but he didn't find it lot of his old contacts are in prison!...What type of feeling do you get from this mess? He told somebody it is like the feeling after you smoke it is the same feeling after you have sex..come on now really?

Christine 's picture

Panic attacks

I read ur post and my heart goes out to u I used cocaine for about four years straight everyday from the moment I woke till I went to bed everything was fine so I thought recently this year I had to stop to get cleaned up for a surgery I was about to get I got clean and thought after my surgery I'll go back to my cocaine so after I was good and better ya like a dummie whent back to my favorite drug but what happen next wasn't great but I'm thankfull for it cuz it saved my life and my wallet panic attacks I've learned to deal with them but they scard me so much I wouldn't touch cocaine again even thow I think about it every I have my panic attacks that nasty drug left me I don't even feel myself always scard but learning to cope with them I don't mean to scare u but sometimes I think a little wake up call is good for us all and may jus be the thing to save our lives

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hang in there, It's a hard

Hang in there,
It's a hard thing to beat
I used for over 5 years, powder, & pipe
& got myslf clean, now for almost 6 years

U need to stay strong & get away from what pulls u
Back, I can tell u thst much!
If u need to move do it!, or cut certain people out of
Your life, do it!
Your worth it!

Gail Harris's picture

give youe self a A+...

HI,Been there and done itit to ,i am clean fore twelve years...yaa.fore real though if you are tired of beinging with out and always (thinking )i need it,then you and your so called friends tell you hey lets go in to it togather and do some.these are the ones you need to get rid of, as long as some one can influnce you to doe it one more time and you do it ,well i guss your just not ready to stop but when you do then and only then will you get up and probaly pack up and move on to a new set up DROUG FREE BOOZE FREE. And i can tell you i dont think i could have done it with out haveing found what the good BOOK said to be ho so true .for all things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction,that through our endurance and through the comfort from the scriptures we might ..Have HOPE ..you know it did take me seven yrs. the first time to see i needed help .i worked on it and finely was clean after three more yrs off an on .one day .oh i was shooting up an eight ball a day .each time i had to add a little moe oneday i added to much and i new i was goingto die...i heard a sound ...a sound i only heard of .a train sound sweating, i climed in to the shower cold water and praying out loud to my GOD to please not let me die.. i put it down packed my bag left my husband and said no more ,clean your act up if you whant me.anyway long storie short.he wind up going to prison fore the humpthing time i got a divorce and after a year or so i finally met the dream of my life twelve yrs and i cant even say how good i feel.. so make a move to change befor its too late ...Gail

Serendip Visitor's picture

Cocaine-"Can't give up" Reply

I smoked cocaine for 17 years ! I am now 46 and drug free. "Every time is the last time" I can relate to you. That's how I felt EVERY TIME I used and I was coming down. The longer I was clean the more my head -my thoughts would mess with me and tell me I can do it differently this time, I'll be okay ,just this one time - all of this I meant at the time however I could not think my way out of getting high - maybe a few very rare times I would think about the consequence's however there was always a louder thought justifying the reason I would go get high.Then promise myself I would quit. This was repeated over and over and over. It was insane. I could not will the thoughts away they were to strong. I tried counseling -working out -self help books-church-medicine-My daughter could not even get me to quit. I had a great family great friends and nothing worked. I'm in the upper middle class so this has nothing to do with poverty. I got to the point were the greatest desire to stop did NOT work, no matter how hard I tried. This is why they call it an addiction. Doesn't matter if your a 5 times a month once a week or everyday user your still a drug addict and once you cross the line into addiction all bets are off. Addiction lies in our mind..Some people as your self can quit but cannot stay quit that's the mind that I'm talking about - that queer mental twist that takes us back to using drugs EVERY TIME. I don't know if you are truly addicted, if not you can quit on your own and I would suggest soon. You can get help - you can't do this on your own and why the hell would you want to? I know you wake up the next morning all remorseful with a firm resolution not to do that again..How is that working for you? Ask yourself some questions-Do you really want to quit? for good and for all? are you done living the lie? do you know you need help? If you answer yes - then go get help,millions get help for addiction you are no different ..Your a drug addict I hope you admit that to your inner most self.Because with out taking that 1st step of surrender - ( that's with any change-a human being want to change doesn't always mean drugs or alcohol it could be something small-we need to admit the truth then we can move forward ) If I hear back from you I will give you my email address and you can contact me if you want. I wish you well- by the way I have a great life today - it was hard to get here but it can be done..JB

dalkeith's picture

recovering crack addict

hi/I would like to talk with you cause im struggling after 20 yr crack addiction/been clean for three months but still have bad withdrawals and cant think to good/will my brain ever heal/talk soon/dalkeith

nick's picture

i was doing cocaine for a

i was doing cocaine for a while along with a multitude of opiate drugs for an even longer period of time and I've been quit now for maybe 3 months or so and even today I get wicked cravings..(I Am also an alcoholic) and its hard to quit but your head and your heart are obviously in the right place because one can't make a change unless they absolutely want to and it sounds like although you struggle you're working on bettering yourself, and like you said if not for you for your kids :) keep trying and get as much support as neccecary and I bet you can do it and you WILL come out a better person on the other side :) I finally made it and I feel great.. good luck to you

doug dery (ex-addict)'s picture

DONT GIVE UP!

I realized that life had a lot more to offer than the high or crashing lows I had experienced. I gave it ALL to God!!! Trust Him....He will deliver you.

john r's picture

It is so really bad .

I fucking hate feeling this way the disappointment i feel i the worst part about it, it makes me sick to think of all the negative impacts it has had on my life and y in the world i would ever think it would be a good idea . i dont want to DIE i avoid every thing i love when i do that shit my work, my family and myself . i am truly done with this shit i am 31 ive been on and off since im 24 . I almost lost my career i lost my Marriage and my son, i think about y she left and i can see y that what kind of example am i for a small boy i would never want him to turn out like me OMG that is my worst fear !! now i am all alone left to think about what i have done wrong and the kind of example i set for my 6 yr old i need to get back on track and get it together i have to much to lose and to much to gain by stopping . I HOPE ALL OF YOU HOLD ON TO WHO YOU REALLY ARE THAT IS WHO YOU ARE MENT TO BE .

"Angela"'s picture

The Devil is a Liar

This drug is nothing more than the devil disguised in white, infiltrating ur body as u inhale its smoke. Remember how low u feel when U do it & how u feel under a command to do any & all deeds 2 get it. Lying ,cheating, stealing, manipulating are all negative traits of the devil & the dark side. The devil wants nothing more than to steal ur joy, rob ur existence & KILL YOU!!! I know this sounds harsh but it's true. There's nothing good about this drug, so don't get caught in the web of its trickery & demise when u feel so low about the mess ur life is now. This cycle of self-pity, self-sabotoge & self-destruction is what keeps the cycle going. If U dont want ur life, which I know U do, or else U wouldn't be on a bog writing about ur addiction, keep doing this drug!!. I see ur cry 4 help. It's there, u just have 2 make the 1st step. It was hard 4 me to even thing a rehab center could even begin 2 correct all my issues & help my life, but I made the call & surrendered that I have a fucked up existence & realized that this isn't why I'm living on this earth. I thought that I should die if the unhappiness & negativity I'm generating is what life is about.

I'm homeless, lost car, house, freedom, son (temporarily) relationships, need I say more. Im awaiting a bed date for rehab & recently started using again becuz I fuked up & didnt go in on the date I was given becuz I WANTED 2 GET HIGH 1 LAST TIME! So I have 2 now wait & feel down & depressed becuz of MY OWN actions. We know what's right,we just have to make it a point 2 do right & endure some of these hardships 2 get to the top of the mountain & get the JOY we once had & miss so much! As much pain as u put ur son & ex wife thru, dont u think it's fair u endure some emotional pain 2 getting ur life back on track & regaining the joy 2 life we were intended 2 have?. Atleast it'd be 4 the betterment of urself & life. Happiness & joy is possible again & I figured that out after catching a case & having to spend 26 days in jail. Getting sober is the ONLY way that u'll ever see the problem 4 what it truly is so that u can pick up the pieces. Progress takes time, as the destruction did. Do urself a favor, don't let the devil take ur life, as it almost did mine.

I hope I spoke 2 u & that u got something u needed 4rm this message. This is my 1st ever response 2 a blog & there's a reason it was u.

Jazzie's picture

My expriences

I was actually searching because I wanted to know how I was being affected by this through my husband. I read through some of the Posts and well I wanted to share as well. I started when I was i'n my teens, I had my daughter at 16 and well I lost my mom and never had a father because Of aids due to drugs and the other prison. That never stopped me from realizing that drugs was not the way to go. I am a victim of every drug every form of use and lost my children, my home and my self respect... I changed my life and now have 6 years clean with my children but still struggle daily but never as hard as when I had my addiction. It is a struggle to overcome this demon but once defeated you have the power to control it and not let it control you!!! My first start to getting detox and rehab... I wanted to get off of methodone I put i'n my mind was consequences. Once I put that i'n my head I lead my other thoughts back on track to where I did what was right instead of WRONG and it took a lot of practice but I gained everything back and I give myself credit everyday; even just having my children with mr is my reward. To everyone here you are all powerful and it is possible.

"Angela"'s picture

Ur post gives me inspiration

Ur post gives me inspiration & hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Im an addict & am awaiting rehab. Rehab was a decision I made after having spend 26 days in jail. That time allowed me to get sober & realize that yes, it can work 4 me! I'd like 2 know how u now deal with ur issues.
I self-medicated & currently do 2 escape & forget the mess I've made with this drug. I'd just like some feedback, maybe a suggestion or 2 that would help me not want to escape or forget, so that I dont want 2 use.

leon's picture

cocaine

Hi Angela,yes there is light at the end of the tunnel,i know you cant see that ,as you have taken your mind,body to far ,each day that go's by is hard ,but i found that each week i got 2% back of me ,off coke now for 2yrs ..........hav'nt done nothing ........have off days ...and a bit lost sometimes ,does'nt take to long to feel ok again ............you have a one way ticket through life and thats it ...........when i stopped it felt like i was in the matrix ,you know the film ....when everybody paused and stopped ,just me awake looking at them all working out whats going on again ............when you do come back you will be better than ever ..............only if you want it to .........it will be lonely ..........but you can then choose your friends and people who only you want to be around .because you always have a choice...............you are what your friends are............took me a while to work that out...all the best ....leon

Serendip Visitor's picture

hhmmm

Deep thought and prayer is put into everyone of you. keep strong :)

D1's picture

Crack and OCD

Im 27 years old and have been addicted to crack for 5 years on and off now and I'am beginning to really feel like crap.I have Ocd and cant control myself when I do the drug becuase Im to busy thinkin about the dirty thoughts that come with being involved with this drug or whatnot and the people and places I visit to do it.I understand that for my addiction that I need to turn my life over to God and let him help me but I continue to have these thoughts that I have bad germs or blood or somethin that can cause me or someone in my family to suffer and that it would be all my fault if this happened.I didnt actually see any blood while I was out doin this drug with other crack heads but it scares me just to think that what if there was and I didnt see it at all so I avoid touching people or things in my house after touchin what I touched when I came home from a night out. I feel that these 2 problems with ocd and crack are effecting my life bad and its hard for me to be myslef at work and I dont feel comfortable at all and at times I'd rather just pass out.I dont have the patience with customers that I used to and its really making me wonder.I feel off balance and I cant stop thinking about those dirty things in my house that I might have touched after returning home from a long night out. I feel like God doesnt want me to go and clean off the things that I touched when I came back home but it just scares me to think that what if someone is infected by a disease or somethin beacause I didnt go and clean off the things that were touched when I got home.What should I do?Please help. I feel like a dark cloud is over me now,when I eat I feel sick until the food digests.I get nervous at work and just want to call it quits at times.Its to much to handle.Especially at busy times.And I work in a restaurant so imagine that.Its not nice, nervousness killing me and reall really embarrassing but will be more embarrassing if I pass out but I struggle to stay up working as if nothings wrong. I have a baby and need to be working to provide for her what do I do about these to issues taking me life.Im on my last limb with both.Am I stuck for good?Thanks.D1

leon's picture

cocaine after effects

Though i'd share my story,developed a few issues as a young lad ,mum and dad never really showed any affection ,dad left at 6 ,meet up again with him at 16 ,relationship with my mum very poor,went into care at 14-15 did'nt finish school,at 16 i knew i was'nt that stable , did a few drugs speed small amounts of acid bit of weed ,which none of them agreed with me, anyway worked with my dad decorating did ok ,then recession came 90s,went into cooking,did good worked in several hotels resturants went to college started to become someone at last,as i'd never been shown ,nor did i trust anyone iwent with it and found a real passion ,worked in london etc,but all along i felt it was fake i did'nt know how to feel ,had three girlfriends 3 children different women ,got to 29,left the last one and meet a coke dealer,she had a busy shop ,all of a sudden i was relaxing with the drugs at first it was a release ,speed ,then coke started to lose my edge ,feeling insecure then split with her ended up in a flat wrecking it hard was dj'n aswell free parties mushrooms a little xtc was losing my head a lot, week in week out ,all went wrong with bank could'nt cope anymore lost vauable contacts with decorating which i'd built up over 10yrs was never out of work and had enough confidence to get a job cooking almost anywhere,then bang everything was gone ,moved in with a girl to get away from the scene ,but use to go back for monthly hit took almost ayear to go 3 months without coke then hit it then felt bad do another 3 months it was like a target ,because i never really known how to feel,i was faced with a big problem,i could'nt remember how i used to feel ,went physcotherapy got me off coke ,took me back to childhood all the thinks i'd carried inside for years all buried on top of each other 2yrs did that ,was working for a landlord aswell so no pressure as the houses were empty ,gave me space to try and find myself ,11mnths now off coke i'm tense inside and having proper issuse connecting with people ,went back to college to finish a paper off get back some confidence ,working in the kitchen without the pressure,jumped in to early turned up 3 times and panicked each time and left ,after the 3rd time sat in my van cried ,knew then i'd damaged my self ,i dont think of the drugs anymore just how to chill out ,if someone mentions going out,lets say next wk ,im fine usally like now but as the day dawns i get myself into a state ,flaky skin red face ,not plesent cant even control it i'm missing out on alot ,trust from my youth got to be ,never been dealt with ,kids getting older now ,12 14 i no they will pick up on it ,worring alot at the mo with it all stress,about how to be me ,cooking gave me that ,replaced it with coke ,got to find something...we can beat this shit it is inside us somewhere .lol so we made a wrong turn be strong for are children so they do what we did'nt ..

leon's picture

cocaine after effects

feel free to email if any one needs any help all the best leon...

Serendip Visitor Nan's picture

Yes, it IS inside us (crack addiction)

I have to totally agree - it is definitely something inside us. I too played with drugs young, but went on to live a "respectable" life - good job, owned home, raised family etc. Then my husband went on drugs - started beating me blah blah blah. It turned into the divorce from hell - he went to jail for attempted murder, my life was in shambles - lost house because I had to escape and walk away, lost job because I missed so much time (black eyes, doors kicked in off frames leaving house wide open, acute stress) car got repossessed 14 payments from being owned (after having paid 46 payments)..... having seen what his drinking and drugging caused, you would think it would be the last thing in the world I would turn to, right? WRONG - I started drinking because it made me "happy" (on the outside) and friends turned me onto Crack - something I had never done in my 35 years. I got addicted easily, and smoked almost daily for a year. I managed to get myself off it by changing my friends, and staying away from alcohol. Life went on day by day - I got stronger with counseling after suffering a breakdown. Eventually, I met my current husband...... He was "the love of my life" - I was very, very happy with him for almost 5 years. We got married that Christmas. Then in the next 2 years - he revealed his dark side. He was very twisted sexually (something he had managed to hide for 5 years) the sexual abuse started 7 years into our lives together..... by this time my family had all passed away, my husband had managed to push any friends away that I had (typical of a control freak, I understand) eventually - the sexual abuse made me feel like a nothing - I had no self worth, nothing but contempt for myself even though it was him doing it. I turned to Crack again now at age 43. I had returned to school to get my degree - I did manage to graduate with high honors, but the joy of my accomplishment was taken from me by my crack haze. I was high all the time because it made me feel good instead of bad...... I couldn't let myself come down. I ended up trying to commit suicide (almost successfully) and wound up in the hands of a wonderful psychiatrist who helped me pull myself together and become the strong person I was back before the first marriage went bad. I was high on life - not drugs and felt great every single day. I know you all won't understand this - but I stayed with him........ He was all I had (but the abuse had stopped because he knew he would go to jail the next time) Yes, this was another addiction, or dependency I should say but I didn't know it at the time.

I thought things were "good" for the next 6 or 7 years....... but it was because I was wearing blinders. He became more and more twisted but he focused on the internet, and not me so I ignored it. Then came the chats with ''like minded'' individuals (real or not - he thought they were, which gave him a sense of it being normal) It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that it's not long before the chats lead to the real thing. When I found he had cheated, believe it or not I was totally crushed. I couldn't believe he had cheated on me after 16 years. He came up with some Bullshit story, and I forgave him. Then it started again - only this time, he wanted out - he had found someone younger and didn't want me anymore. I refused to divorce and continued to cling onto something that wasn't there desperate to not be alone at 55. Guess where I ended up again? You got it! On Crack and OLD.

I know this is a long story - but I told it from the beginning because as an outsider it's easier to see a pattern. This was not a pattern of physical addiction or need, it was an emotional addiction. I needed it because it made me feel better (at the high) but hated myself for turning to it, and becoming the "low life" I believed I was. I am clean again - for one month, trying hard to sort my life out and am totally through with relationships because I obviously have a lot of baggage inside me I have to deal with. But I am my focus now. Day by Day I will try to stay clean. Day by Day I will work on loving myself again. Day by Day I will surrender myself and ask for God's help that day.

Good Luck to all - and I hope my story hits home with someone who needs to hear it. We are not bad people, we just have issues we try to hide from or forget, but drugs aren't the way. Getting real with yourself is a must. Once you do that, the path to the rest is clear.

Nan

M's picture

OCD...Pothead...started using coke...

Im 27 I have sturgged with OCD and panic/anxiety disorder, and depression my entire life as far back as I can remember being about 7-8 years old. I stayed away from drugs for most of my life. I was put on a high dose of paxil and clanazopam at about 17. It helped with the debilitating depression but not enough for the OCD and overwhelming anxiety and emotional instability. in the past 4 years I have developed a chronic daily pot smoking habbit. I understand this isnt my biggest problem at the moment...I caught an addiction to opiates twice in recent years and successfully stopped using and beat the addiction on my own when it got out of control. I have recently started using cocaine. First time I tried it was my 25th birthday. It really did nothing for me so I disrmissed continuing use...a month ago some friends were here and I decided to give it another go... It was ok nothing special I prefer weed. I picked up some more 2 weeks ago and had enough to lightly binge for 2-3 days...still not much of a story...until I obtained $350 worth this past Wednesday and have been consistently using since. I am starting to feel like shit...I would like to discontinue using this drug because the negative outweighs the high tenfold....I've slept 5 hours in the past 3-4 days and I feel stable mentally but I started researching this drug more and have come to find out it does irreversible damage to seratonin and dopamine receptors...which I already take paxil to adjust....I've read the research. ive been up all night reading blogs. I don't want to do this drug anymore and even so i am still bumping what's left instead of discarding it....I am terrified that after it wears off I will have unbearabley worse depression than I've had in the first place due to a destruction of my brain, and that although I so not feel I enjoy the drug much I am using...I am petrified that I have already fallen victim to a life ending addiction...???? Is it soon enough to easily walk away? I have done LSD twice and pcp once a year ago and walked away no problem.,...but I'm seeing and reading that coke is worse. I would have never thought. Someone please help me!!

Cocaine Addict's picture

You can get off

Great article, and well researched. If all boils down to the truth that damage is probable (no definite) using cocaine. I know that some think that they are invincible, yet those of us who have done it and suffer the long term effects, say get off quick if you want to have a life without nervous problems along with memory problems if you keep using.

If you can't get off on your own, by all means find help.

Serendip Visitor's picture

hey, last week we were taking

hey, last week we were taking in biology class about drugs effects,and it is really disasterous! so quit taking it if u want a long healthy life :)

Jose delacruz's picture

Can't stop

I'm 32 years old. I just came off a binge right now. I shouldn't be sniffing because my nose is bleeding my throat is dry and horse. I have been doing coke since I was 18. Now I'm upto 4to5 grams a day. I want to stop but I don't. My body is a mess and I'm sensing that I'm dying. I relly need help what should I do?

john r's picture

Have an anti drug ??

get help ..i know what u are going thru i hate this fucking drug more then any drug i have ever done.... i know that it is not rt to go to another drug but try xanax to help your nervous system .... and pick up a different image on what you want for yourself to see . do you like the way coke treats you ??? look at the way it treats your looks and your money and your most importantly health. it will take away every thing good in your life .

peprico's picture

There is no way you snorted

There is no way you snorted cocaine for 14 years you would be dead after 5. You are a liar to everyone on this site. Do not believe this guy and what he has written. I snorted cocaine for 5 years and almost overdosed.

jay's picture

Go to a Cocaine Anonymous Meeting Today

You will have to seek the help of a 12 step support group like Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous. Please call them and go to a meeting NOW!! You will end up dying or worse, you'll stay alive and suffer like the devil is on your back 24/7. Please do this and I will pray for you my friend. I don't mean to sound religious at all, I do care and I understand how you feel because I too have issues going on and I'm getting help not only for myself but, my loved ones. It's an obsession and addiction and you can't do it alone!!! God be with you and I love you even though we've never met. Jay

lynne's picture

cocaine

I know the feeling, I have been addicted to coke for 9 yrs, its cost me more than money its cost me relationships, jobs, friends and dignity. I just cant stop and one day this drug is gonna wipe me out.

JOHN's picture

Woshing you well

JUST A NOTE TO WISH YOU WELL AND I TOO HOPE AND PRAY THAT YOU GET THE HELP YOU NEED. IT IS NOT EASY THAT IS FOR SURE. DONT GIVE UP, JOHN IN IRELAND

Jahyde's picture

The Answer

Jose I feel for you today and my heart goes out to you I am a owner of an organization called Promoting Life Fitness Ministry and I teach health and welless to recovering drug addicts in Philadelphia. You asked what should I do? The only way you can experience complete healing is by asking God to do what you can't and by being willing to let Him take complete control of your life. If you ask sincerely I absolutely promise you He will set you free. I asked and kept on asking until I could see real power and others could see it too. Jesus is real my friend and He gave His life for you Jose. Its deep I know but it is Truth. I have prayed and asked God to set you free but you mustt be willing to turn your life over to Him. Don't worry about how you're going to do it cause it won't be you doing all the work alone. All he needs is your willingness.

God Bless

Serendip Visitor's picture

No addict seeking recovery

No addict seeking recovery need ever die from the disease of addiction.

Any addict can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live!

-Stopping using was the hardest and most challenging thing I have ever done in my entire life. I am so grateful that God rescued me from the threshold of addiction. Make no mistake about it, it was God. I was in the grips of addiction and could not break free. I hated myself. No drug is worth the degredation, humiliation, and agony that I endured. A drug is a drug no matter what it is. I want to say that there is hope and hope is a valuable commodity to a person who feels hopeless. There is a way out of the madness. I had to get locked up to get clean and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a chance at life. No longer do I have to sell my soul for another bag of dope. My life isn't perfect all the time and I go through trials and tribulations like everyone else, I just don't have to use about it anymore.

For anyone who feels hopeless, there is hope. There is a way out. You don't have to die from this and you don't have to live in prison by your own addiction. We do Recover.

Alex's picture

Cocaine

GUYS COCAINE IS AWESOME, seriously we wouldnt be the country we are today without extensive use of cocaine

catherine parker's picture

Hello...

Hello,

I would just like to say good for all the people that have stopped doing this drug because its horrible and should not be out there. It is very important to know who you are and to make the best of your life. No one needs these stupid drugs its all in the mind... sure the system that we live in is so corrupt that sometimes we get so depressed or maybe some of us have grown up in a home that was very difficult and suffer from depression... so what you do in that case? NO you don't turn to drugs because then what your doing is making everything worst for yourself... your giving up on yourself, on life, on everyone and your giving up on the things that hurt you most but what you really should be doing is standing up for yourself and fighting for what you want and what you believe... we all have our own beliefs and you need to focus on your own. live, love, laugh, learn... this is our lives, we make it whatever we want... if you know yourself than you know what makes you happy so do it... dont think about doing it but DO IT.... don't harm yourselves, love yourselves and this beautiful life... the beautiful sky and trees and animals and humans and being able to smell and taste and all the beautiful things that us humans tend to forget because were so busy in this corrupted system... anyway, I felt the need to put a few words in after reading some posts. I wish everyone the best and remember to be strong!

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