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

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!

Serendip Visitor's picture

What you wrote really touched

What you wrote really touched a cord with me. İ have left all my old friends and boyfriend behind because i needed to get off this terrible drug and start again. İve been feeling very lonely lately and very depressed but your post made me think xx İ will be strong and not go back to my old life thank you xx

kay's picture

How did you finally leave if

How did you finally leave if you don't mind me asking...
I am in deep love with my boyfriend but addiction is destroying us. Broken promises told a million times, lies coming from both ways... But still that hope for hope I hold...

I know I have a better life and I wanted for it to include him but I will need to leave...
I feel like I will be lonely and depressed and be so tempted and lovesick that I will return to him...

I do love him, I just love getting high more when were doing it. I want to stay clean, he says we'll stop too but everyday there's always a change... I just don't trust him anymore I wanted him to help me because he speaks of how strong he is and how he can't quit anything just to fail me everyday..

Serendip Visitor's picture

Of course i dont mind you

Of course i dont mind you asking xx İ had to get away from them all because i knew that i would just keep on going back to it. İ loved my boyfriend so much but finally realised that he cant love me if he let me keep doing it to myself and he was the one that got me started in the first place. İ moved abroad away from everyone which was pretty drastic but i know i wasnt strong enough to stop and be around everyone. İ gave up smoking and coke at the same time which i dont know if it was a good thing to do. İ did suffer from depression and anxiety attacks and am on one prozac a day which seems to make me feel normal and stopped all that but im so careful not to take more than one i dont want to get addicted to that after i gave up everything else. İ was heartbroken for ages and if someone comes on tv snorting a line it makes me want it a bit but not too bad. But now ive turned my life around. İm healthy my skin is clear my head is straight and i have a brilliant life. Moving away worked for me and a lot of prayer i hope this helps. Your worth so much than what he can give you sweetheart you need to love yourself enough to stay healthy.

John Holmes's picture

My opinion.

Join the service. Army, marine corps, air force, navy. Go active duty and trust me it will turn Ur life around. U just have to want to. You must be loyal, perform duties well respect yourself and others show selfless service honor integrity gand most importantly (personal courage) 7 army values. Now tell me if u have that instilled in u will it help you? It won't be easy but in the long run for u and Ur family and Ur family's family the future will be much brighter. Let's not be selfish and only be worried about now and ourselves. Let's think beyond today. GO ARMY! Hooah

Sarge's picture

Dope

I smoked in the Army for many years as a Helicopter Mechanic. You can only quit if you really want to!

This is more useful then most people think's picture

Hay im sorry I sent you a reply

Hay im sorry I sent you a reply what I realy wanted to do was post that info to the bord can you copy it and then peast it to the list of coments please thank you?

This is more useful then most people think's picture

This is more useful then most people thinkMarine Core

This is more useful then most people think to be bissy and around good and non useing people is one of the key steps for recovery first step is to clean your body that is : Your Blood stream, urin, brin, and orgens, from the drugs, then you have find a new start moveing away from old junkie frends is always the best way to go. Then you want to stay away from meeting new junkeys so you have to be around good clean people that have good life values and trust me write now you dont take it from me a recoverd adict I went from being flat broke, sick, skinny as a sick dog, living on the streets, even resorting to crame to get a fix and thats when it hit me hard!!! You see I came from being very well off to being poor and loseing al my famaly and money in about 1 years time so bed to the point where I to was looking for ways to hert my self to get it over with. But one day it hit me and yes I did pray to God like you cant even Imagine and I guss my prayers were answerd because I came up with the resalts I needed to stay alive for me and my kids after geting most of the Toxins out of my body and moveing. I then went to the marine corps and inlisted after I was don with the corp I was clean and as strong mentily and fisicaly as I ever been and made me a good living. After comeing home I had learned how to do al tapes of things there I would have never done at home or on the block hanging out with my old so called frends I have since then gone from 120lbs to 195lbs and looking like if I was one of those body bilders or some tape body model. And thats not the only thing got out of it im also a hand-to-hand combat specialist, CQB, CQC, Armed and Unarmed Comba,Im a sniper expert, and intelligence specialists involved in the collection, recording, analysis, processing, and dissemination of information/ intelligence. I geuss what im trying to say here is that if you try hard enuff and you realy want to get off this shit you can my hart gose out to you bro but you have to make a change now or better yet yesterday get on it ASAP as you life and the lives those around you realy depends on it and keep looking for a ways out this is good as it mean that you know you have a problem
remember where there's a will there's a way and the 12 step programs are also good for you but not the group meetings as you can find you self sorounded by other users that may lead you back to taking drugs agin! Fam one love and I hope you take what I told you today into cosideration. what I told you here today its not just about your life that your fucking up its al the people around you that love you and care for you. My man you can do it please help your self by al means necessary as you are in a steat thats called ROCK BOTTEM if you dont do someing quik your going to hert your self or even worse someone you love and care for and that is completely innocent to this monster. May God Bless you aways Robert

Anonymous's picture

alone in a room

im 24 years old and im an addict. i started at 18. i let a guy peer-pressure me into trying crack so we could have better sex. a monster was being born and i didn't even know it. pretty soon after that we wouled only "freak" if we had some rock. i was vey much in denial at first. i remember getting some one time(i was supposed to go "freak" with my friend) on the way over his house, i can remember the thought if sharing this with him just sickened me. so i decided to smoke my crack alone. that is when i knew i had a problem. i did not want to share my drugs. my life made a dramatic turn for the worst after that. i lost all my material things(apartment, anything worth anything like tv, stereo, ect.) i lost the trust of eveyone i know, i lost my daughter to c.p.s., i lost my pride, my dignity, my self worth, hell i even lost my freedom several time cuz i couldn't stay clean for drug court. by then there was no point of denial, everybody knew my secret. i was homeless, on crack, with no hope. prostituting to get money. stealing, lying, whatever it took. I WAS SO GONE THAT I WOULD DO ANY THING FOR IT. i even prayed for it. i know that's pretty pathetic. i have blasphemed the name of the lord for crack. after about 2 years on it i desperately wanted to stop. i feflt so weak and pitiful because i could not. i went to job corp. i felt like if i could just get off the street and away from it for a while, i could be ok again. that didn't work. i constantly thought about it ended up leaving job corp early so i could smoke. when i got home, it was like nothing changed. i was back tricking and smoking the same day. i thought there was no hope for me. i even accepted the fact that i was a rockhead and thought i would always be one. i asked the lord one day out of despiration to help me stop. i asked him to take over me and change me back to the person that i was supposed to be. i struggled with it on and off after that until 9 months ago. all of a sudden i didn't want to smoke rock anymore. i got my daughter back, im working, and have a place to live. im getting back on my feet. i will admit that i do drink and i have smoked weed since i quit rock. but now i have health problems. high blood-pressure and herpes that i know of. sometimes my heart hurts. sometimes for no reason at all i get nervous and feel scared. i worry that i will die soon or that i won't live very long. that's why im up tonight. i had that scary feeling again. i feel like my heartbeat is wrong and i can't breath. i know i've made a lot of mistakes and i am truly sorry for them. i wish i could undo the past and start over but i can't. i don't know anybody anymore and i have no friends. im lonely a lot and afraid. what comes next? does anybody know? can anyone give me some advice? i have been staying clean on my own with no support. i need somrbody. please.

Serendip Visitor's picture

im sorry

i cant help you, but drugs solve all problems.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i'll be here for you.

I'm really not sure what happens next, but your story really touched me. All the things you've been through, including loosing your daughter to cps..... don't get affended but I've always thought that "crackheads" are none trust worthy, which in most cases their not, and I never looked at them as sick. Well what I'm trying to say is, I've never understood how a person can be so addicted to it to actually consider them sick (an addict). You made it more understandable to me how its so hard you someone to get off that drug. You sound so desperate to stay clean I feel bad for you. Maybe you should try going into programs for more stonger support, cuz you really sound like you wanna stay clean. How olds your daughter by the way and how old was she when she got taken away by cps? Why did she get taken away? Was it at birth, did you leave her alone to get the crack and someone found out?..... The only thing I can advise you for now is STAY STRONG!!!! I've just noticed that you posted this on 5/18/10.... So maybe I'm too late and youve turned back to drugs, but I really hope that you didn't. But whether you did or not , think of your daughter. No one takes care of their children better then a mother, she really needs you. Even if she was placed with someone whos treating her great.... She still needs you, and will never understand why you chose drugs over her. Please, if youre reading this, dont think that i'm trying to bash you, because like i said i dont know much about this addiction but have done my share of bad things, but i do feel bad foor you and without even knowing you I wish you the best. I really hope to hear from you, and that when I do, i really hope to hear that youre still clean and that your daughters still with you, because everyone deserves a second chance. good luck and please feel free to write back to mateomadeline@gmail.com.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Cocaine is the devil!!

I know this is a while ago but i wanted to commend you on stop smoking this evil drug..I began dating a recovering addict 4 yrs ago and didn't know the magnitude of crack cocaine until he relapsed and by then it was too late. I've seen some of the worse this drug can do to someone. It hurts watching him hurting himself over and over again. He's right now in recovery. THank god!! In your case i believe you need to give back. I believed God answered your prayer. You need to do right by your daughter. You brought her into this world and i know it gets hard sometimes...i'm a happy single mom of 3. You don't have to be lonely. There are a lot of god's people out there. You have to find them. Remember nothing good comes easy, we have to work for it..Stay clean and sober. God bless!!

lisa's picture

You're not the only one

You're not the only one that's made that horrible mistake!I did the same thing.I turned to drugs over being abused by my husband and he was doing them,I said F it let me try it and that's all it took.I loved it! I lost my children and lost myself. I've been clean for 2 and a half years now and finally I'm able to see my children. I struggled with crack/cocaine for 13 years and it almost took my life, i was thrown from the back of a truck and and a tree fell on me. The helicopter had to lift the tree off of me then i was flown to the hospital and was in a coma for 3 months. That didn't stop me i started back a couple of months after i got out of the hospital.I didn't have but a week with my mom and she died...I felt all alone...LOST! I am a living miracle!!! I literally had to fall on my face with no where to go before I quit. There is no way on earth I would go back! It was nothing but a ride on the DEVIL'S back! So keep in mind that you are not alone! I have felt and lived the exact life...Remember with the LORD all things are possible! If you need someone to talk to remember he is always listening!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Wow wat a story! With a story

Wow wat a story! With a story like that you could be helpn SO many people! Please find an Alcoholics or Narcotics anonymous meetn place near u. Please! IV been off th shit 4 14 yrs & could hav never done it alone. What you hav is a progressive mental illness that gets wors all by itself. Please call the hotline & ask for th help you need. Get your questions answerd from those who hav solutions to the same problems youv expressed. You can't do this alone this disease is insidious & will tell you ur ok wen ur not just so it can get fed. Please don't go back to th hell you came from! There is a solution! "God could & would if he were sought"

john's picture

i agree

you should be at the head of a aa association to help people believe they can relive there life the way you stopped your cocaine use.

Serendip Visitor's picture

the changes

Just get some good mental health care. Seriously, the mental health drugs have changed my life. No more shame about trying to feel better illegally. I can take my meds on the morning and I feel like a normal person. Its worth it. The dirty street drugs damaged your brains ability to enjoy life and they will call you back if you dont have reenforcments. I swear on everything I love that it's worth it, and so are you. Youre a strong chick to have made it though all of that. I know from experience that its a sickening life, but now I am here on the other side shouting at you to come on over, life can be good again!!
A survivor who is now a thriver.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I need more information on

I need more information on mental health drugs..I'm thinking that might be our last resort..Please kindly email me and will let you in on what's happenig..THank you.

MARY's picture

COCAINE AND THE BRAIN

ALL BEST WISHES DARLING, HANG IN THERE AND THE LORD WILL HELP

Anonymous's picture

I understand

I am a single mother and have been dealing with my addiction for years now; however I must say that I feel like I am losing this battle for the first time. It's because I feel alone. I don't know you but I just weant to tell you to keep holding on. You are strong and a child of God. Jesus loves you dearly and sees your effort. I believe you can overcome this and you will be an inspiration to many. So pray and I will pray for you. Please respond back if you need help.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Find a NA meeting, get a

Find a NA meeting, get a sponsor so you can help keep yourself clean, addiction is powerful you need support, cocaine is shrewd.

Take strength in God.

David 's picture

Alone in a room

Let me congratulate you for the nine months of being clean. If you feel lonely, go to church. Remenber your prayers help you achieve your goal. Your goal was to help you in your addiction. God is wonderful and works in misterious ways. If you are feeling down, remenber the things you did to get a fix and you don't want that for your daughter. You have to fight for her, she is the answer in helping you to stay clean. There are different places where you can go and ask for help. You are not alone, there are more young women like you in the same predicament and they need help as well. Get involve in helping other young women to stay clean. Tell them your story from the heart and they will feel your honesty. God will give the strengh to help others. You are NOT alone.

Anonymous's picture

i was never addicted to

i was never addicted to cocaine, so I don't know what it's like. I dont know you, but I'm very proud of you. staying clean for all this time on your own is an increadible thing to do. I have lost a loved one to drugs, and although you might feel alone, there are many who love you, but they are afraid of you. you have a child, the most beautiful thing in the world. if you've stayed clean for 9 months, you can stay clean for longer.
It's the most difficult thing, I know, drugs were your comfort zone. Now you have to learn how to live without them, and that's scary: your life has completelly changed and you are in fact sailing into the unknown. with drugs it was easy, you always knew how you'd be after you smoked. but every time you start feeling scared and thing about using again, please please try to remember your daughter, and what it was like when you were using, be strong. don't let fear bring you down, it's stupid.
I know I'm not the person you were expecting to answer you, but I read your post and was very touched. I wish you have a great life. Really.

Anonymous's picture

Health risks

I am struck by the naivety of some respondents who talk only of the short term negative physical effects. There seems to be a widespread assumption that there is little long term ill-effect from anything other than heavy use of the drug. The point about the health effects of alcohol is clear and it is one often made in defence of cocaine. However, there is a simple difference between the dangers of booze and cocaine and one I am starting to be very aware of personally.
The thing is, the physical effects of cocaine can be binary and without warning. The risk of heart attack and stroke are dramatically increased, nor are there any prior symptoms. One day, you can just drop dead. There is no clear indication of what level of consumption (if there is a level) can precipitate this, but two acquaintances have died in this way in the last 12 months, both users of cocaine (though socially), both young (35 and 44) and fit, with no history of heart disease. I see a lot of worried faces right now of people wondering whether they will be next.
This is the most frightening aspect of the drug: that its fatal effects are not accompanied by the steady physical decline that one might see with other drugs, notably alcohol. As I say, its effects are binary. Russian roulette that you continue play for the rest of your life, even if you have stopped using, exaggerated if you combine with alcohol (it forms cocaethylene).
Plus, let's face it, while you are doing it, you feel social, no doubt think it's an entertaining drug and it is for YOU, yet everyone else is repelled by your egotistical, boring behaviour - the antithesis of sociability! Not as bad as being vomited or belched over by a drunk, but in some ways analagous.
Be careful. And do, please, stop boring other people for your short term pleasure!

Kristy's picture

I am writing a book and one

I am writing a book and one of the characters is a chronic cociane user whose nose collapses.She eventually quits , But I would like to know some other long term effects. I want people to read this book and I want it to be accurate.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Email me and i can give you

Email me and i can give you some more info..

Serendip Visitor's picture

cociane and nervous system

I am writing a book one of the characters is brilliant but troubled and quite addicted to coke . I want to know what crack does to the nervous system and the collapse of your nose. I have that sometimes happens when you snort coke long term.

7 year muslim woman's picture

if i knew then what i knew now

im not even the one using the drug my husband is. he started with weed at 12 moved up to sniffing coke at 13 smoking crack by 15. and not to mention he did so many drugs all day every day its a miricle hes not dead or at least brain dead. he would do crack exstacy and acid all at the same time. everyday was a mission to get high on what ever he could. i never knew this before. he used to b cool and normal around me and our mutual friends. we ended up getting married after he went to jail and we became muslim. he was very kind and sincere he didnt want to smoke weed or drink alcohol anymore or hang out in the street. he told me he did coke before, but so did i over the course of about 2 weeks i sniffed it. but i quit cuz it was making me feel weird and i needed more n more to get high. so i didnt think it was a big deal cuz i stopped and it was easy like i never even did it. i never knew he did crack. it is such a horrible thing it broke my husband to ashes. i dont want to be with him anymore we've been living together for 4 years now and im about 2 have my second child with him. i feel deprived of a normal life. i am so sad. hes not very affectionate with me all he does is sleep til someone comes by the house then hes out the door. ive had dealers banging on my door threatening me and my home because he robbed them. i feel one day we may be killed by someone he robbed. i hear about violent drug crimes all the time where everyone even the children in the house were killed. i dont want to be one of them. ive tried getting rid of him but he wont leave he keeps coming back and begging me to let him in making all types of promises that he never keeps. i thought i was marrying a good person. his mother never told me nor his grandmother or either of his brothers. they had alot of difficulty with him in the past and they knew about him. both his parents did it and so did alot of his fathers relatives. his father has been clean a few years now but my husband feels estranged from him cuz he doesnt really know him. and hes embarrassed beause hes borrowed money from him while he was high. my health is degrading i have insomnia and high levels of stress and im starting to have high blood pressure because im always wondering what trouble is going to come next. he is enrolled in a treatment out patient but hes not putting real effort into it and hes left inpatient programs after a couple weeks because he doesnt like it. he is out so much and i wonder if he is with other women having fun and getting high , the guy he hangs out with isnt married and is a drug user too , i am afraid he is a bad influence on him. my husband doesnt think for himself. i hope the person who invented crack burns in hell it has ruined so many peoples lives.

scared's picture

cocaine effects

I had a really stressful job, and responded to it by using cocain. I would use 20 or 40 bags 3 or 4 times a week. I left my job, and was dripping from my nose all the time. Finally, I felt like I was losing some of the feeling in my left hand. That scared me straight. Now I am hoping I do not have permanent nerve damage.

Anonymous's picture

now that i've quit

i wonder if i'll b ok 2. i used for 5 years and quit about 9 months ago. i feel weird all the time and i now have high blood pressureand i worry than i wont live very long.

peprico's picture

congradulations on quitting after 5 years.

I am in the same position as you are and have been clean for 2 years now. I promised myself I will never touch another alcoholic beverage. Trust me go to aa and do not step foot in another bar it is not worth it. I wish you the best of luck and hope you never dink alcohol again.

Anonymous's picture

I am a recovering addict,

I am a recovering addict, once you use you are always recovering whether it be a min or 10 years. I have been clean for 10 months now and the past few days have been difficult, I am craving psychologically. The last time I used cocaine was give or take just over a year. The worst part is that I never really enjoyed the feeling and as time passed and my frequency of use increased it felt worse and worse. Paranoia, edgyness, restlessness etc I am a muslim and the fact that it is Haraam (totally not allowed and detested) helped me. It all started at university experimenting with weed then went on to XTC, LSD,Speed CAT and Cocaine. It's been 7 years of on off useage and it has not been pleasant to put it lightly. I felt disgusted with myself after each useage and comedown. I stole from my parents, I alienated my friends and family I was DESTROYING myself. PLEASE DONT DO ANY DRUG and if you are thinking what do they know it wont happen to me then my friend you are where where I was not long ago and it's a hellish journey your embarking on. I have been to rehab in 2005 and it helped get me out of regular useage, since then I have relapsed on multiple occasions usually spaced a few months apart. This is the longest that I have been clean and after every fight with the addiction I feel a bit better. Like I said earlier I am craving at the moment and I dont want to use thats why I'm here to discourage myself and to help others who maybe following the same filthy path. I am married have an almost 2 year adorable son with the wife about to pop.

I have managed to keep it a secret and I hope InshaAllah that I will never ever go back that filthy,disgusting,lonely,abandoned road again. Reading some of the experiences that people have had has helped but a part of me really wants to do another line. I'm almost there a year,it's too many days to throw away just for another edgy,uncomfortable,nervous,paranoid,leaky nose experience. My religion has helped me a great deal

peprico's picture

stay srong

Congradulations on remaining clean for a year. God has helped to bring you back to life for your wife and son. The only problem is he will not continually keep saving your life. My suggestion is comlpetely stop drinking alcohol. I have done cocaine fo 5 1/2 years and I know friends who have previously passed away from cocaine and heroin. They became angels came down from heaven and restarted my heart from an overdose. So, I feel great to know the afterlife is asking god to save good, hard working, loving family members of ours. So hang in there and drink water at bar.

Shefki's picture

Well done brother keep up the

Well done brother keep up the good work it will all one day pay off.

tested's picture

what should i do??

Last night my boyfriend of 6 months relapsed and went on a free base and snorting all nighter. This guy is a very good and decent man. I have fallen in love with him. He was honest with me from the start regarding his pass addiction.I thought he had everything under control. His family is looking for him to be a failure and last night did no justice in his case. I have supported him 100% in his journey for a clean and better life. I don't think I can stand by him at this time because I fear him. He has not displayed any violence but his lost of rationalizing can prove dangerous. If I walk away I feel in my heart this would totally devastate him and make him give up life totally. If I stay this demon can possibly destroy us both. What should I do??? Does walking away make me a selfish person???

Judy's picture

I stayed with my boyfriend

I stayed with my boyfriend for 4 years. Supported him during the good times and while he was in prison. He was my soul mate, the love of my life! He died 2 days ago from an overdose, I hate crack cocaine! It makes them lie and go to the streets. It hurts when it happens but believe me I HURT NOW MORE THAN I HAVE EVER HURT IN MY LIFE! Leave now honey, leave because it will kill you to watch!

Anonymous's picture

walking away doesnt make you

walking away doesnt make you a selfish person, only a strong one. try and talk to his family about this and have a nice intervention. if you love him, then you will do everything for him, even if that consists of leaving him.

Cocaine Death's picture

Cocaine.

Yes Cocaine is truly a horrible horrible drug, its called the devils candy for a reason and I have no idea why I even used it, I wish I had known more/ what I know about it today it could have saved me the grief of having to experience it myself, anyone reading this I urge u to never use Cocaine it is not worth it I was pressured into it by my friend (as well as very depressed with school and my socail life that I just gave into it) he seemed fine but he really wasn't It destroy's everything I stand for if ur using Cocaine or planning on using it please heed what I have said I have only done it once in my life and I still (4 years later feel its effects in my brain I would like to blame my arythmia for it also but I just don`t know anymore) I want to live I want this feeling in my brain to go away but I don`t think it can, its the major thing and its stopping me from doing some of the things I used to love doing please please I urge u DONT EVER DO COCAINE IT WILL DESTROY YOU!!!

P.S. I wonder why they don`t make stronger laws or awareness behind this drug (in my oppinion it is the second worst from Meth and yes it is worse than alcohol trust me) I for one knew way more about Meth than I did about Cocaine even from age 13 but Cocaine was one of those drugs I knew nothing about oh how my naive mind payed for it dearly..

Serendip Visitor's picture

Please get ahold of me!!

I would still love to hear from you about this feeling you have in youre head and what it does to you????? Cause like I said I might have something similar going on. PLEASE!!!!!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi I am really wondering what

Hi I am really wondering what is going on with youre head. I think I may be going through the same thing as you. I have been searching for someone going through this for along time.. Please....Please get back to me on this so I can chat with you if you still read or get informed of my response. PLease I am desperate!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture

I think most people writing

I think most people writing here are the partners that are affected by the use of cocaine. Anyone who writes anything positive about the drug is a cocaine user/abuser and is trying to make themselves feel like it's okay.

The drug takes away a persons soul and the partner or family of the drug taker is the one affected.

Cocaine users, pot smokers and heavy drinkers are in ABSOLUTE DENIAL and they surround themselves with friends who are in the same denial, this advocates their behaviour.

If anyone is in this situation leave the junkie be and go get the life you deserve.

Anonymous's picture

"Cocaine users, pot smokers, and HEAVY drinkers"

Do you really conceptualize substance abuse in such a way that would stigmatize the millions who use drugs other than alcohol infrequently and responsibly, while letting culturally acceptable drinking off the hook? That strikes me as inconsistent.

marynam's picture

sorry

i am sorry for you, but keep it simple

Anonymous's picture

What's up with him?

My husband used for 4 years, heavily toward the end. After intervention, he says he just stopped. It's been 1 year and he's just weird, childlike, and can't follow through on anything... does he have brain damage, is he still using, or what am I missing? I don't like him anymore,besides the fact he put us into financial destitution.

Anonymous's picture

Brain Damage

It is very unlikely that it is brain damage. I have been using this drug for more than 15 years and I doubt I have brain damage.

Judging from experience, it is likely that he may still be using the drug. It makes you very unambitious and totally indifferent to those around you. Therefore, it is difficult to make commitments.

I about lost my fiance because of this drug. I was spending 600 dollar a week on this shit. It is destructive. But you must be careful how you approach him. Especially if he's not doing it. You need to let him know that you will be there for him and that you have faith that he can get through it. Threats don't work. It has the adverse reaction.

I hope that helps!

Anonymous's picture

I am a lawyer who uses

I am a lawyer who uses recreationally but fears it is getting out of hand.

I use maybe weekly but so far no effects. I wonder whether this is any worse than alcohol but appreciate the potential effects and addicive nature.

Serendip Visitor's picture

a lawer who uses?

wow this drug that youre saying so far no effects about, is obviously having an effect because you keep on doing the drug. if it were having no effect you would'nt waste your money or time buying it. So do yourself a favor and stop now because you have a great career and make decent money, it wont last if you keep on doing this drug, itll have you pheending for more and more and pretty soon will leave you making mistakes and being irresponsible and staying broke. So please stop now.

Anonymous's picture

Is cocaine any worse than Alcohol?

Both are addictive, of course. I was an addict from the "hippy" generation. I am a grandmother now. I used (injected) for 7 years. I am about 5'5". At the time I stopped, I weighed 93 pounds. When a comment was made above (not your comment)they were talking about rats passing up food for the cocaine. That is literally what happened to me. I do believe some people have more of an addictive personality than others. I believe it definitely runs in families. When I stopped running cocaine through my blood stream, I had access to as much as I wanted. Some would believe they were in heaven. Believe me everyone, that is not the case; I was literally in hell and just didn't know it. Someone I knew at the time was bringing it into the country illegally. I would literally stay up injecting one time after another for days until my body would finally have to sleep. I thought it was the most pleasurable thing I had ever done. That was the evil Cocaine tricking my mind. Don't get me wrong, I loved my children more than life itself. Could I quit? I didn't think I could! But when someone dies from using this awful evil drug, someone like my precious, dear brother, you get a rude awakening. It was the most pleasurable, sensational feeling I had ever felt before. It was pure and the high probably lasted about 10 minutes or less. I quit without any kind of doctor's assistance. I did it on my own and with the help of God which by the way, without his help I would have been dead soon after that as well. I had lost the respect of my children (2 teenage girls). But, you know, children always love their parents no matter what their irresponsible behavior is. After my brother died, I went back to work immediately. A friend called soon after that, maybe a couple of months, and wanted me to try some of what he had and I said I would come by his house, but I didn't really want any. Well, to make a long story short, I couldn't say "no" once I got there. It was too tempting. After that night, I felt so bad for having snorted. I was afraid to mainline again. The next day I believe it was, I promised God I would never do cocaine again and I NEVER DID! That was in 1977 on Easter that my brother died. My children have forgiven me and all is well! Do they have scars? Absolutely. Do they love me? Without question. In my situation, it took the death of my brother who was 27 at the time to stop using. I will not be around anyone that does the drug now or after that one time I did it after my brother died, I had my phone number changed, I moved to a new home, and completely disassociated with whom I called friends at the time. For the most part, they were moochers - and as I look back on it now, a large number were coming around just to do the drug and get high! I have been in and out of therapy and I thank God for that. My children were molested during this time by a drug addict. Do you think I don't fall very short on the mother scale?? Yes, I do. And I feel this way, if God and my children can forgive me, I MUST forgive myself. My doctor told me today, the 24th of December, 2009 that I must go for a brain scan on Monday. So I'm sitting here wondering if Evil Cocaine has done some permanent damage. My doctor said she believes there may possibly be a problem with the brain that everything is just not connecting. And as I found out on the computer today, your central nervous system can be permanently damaged. Things have gotten considerably worse the past two weeks for me. So if anyone is a prayer warrior, please pray for me. I promise I am a better person now. God is so good. I have four beautiful grandchildren and two daughters as I said that love me dearly. They know, and I know I've got a serious problem with my brain right now. Consequences of our sins still rear their ugly heads. We're just starting our investigation into exactly what is wrong. It may not even be permanent damage but it is frightening. We just don't know yet. I'm going for the brain scan on Monday as I said. So with regard to your comment, you decide from what you've read above, is it worse than alcohol? My vote is "Yes, without question". Don't get me wrong, I know alcohol is addictive and kills people by attacking their liver. I have been addicted to both and I hope and pray God will keep me STRONG. Thank you for your prayers. And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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