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

Anonymous's picture

Is cocaine any worse than Alcohol?

I have to agree totally with you I am a single mother and I have been using for a very long time and everything you say is so true. I have giving it to God and pray that He helps me stop for it will kill me. I am very functional and have hide it from evryone but it's killing me inside I am tired and want to stop. I just don't have no one to tell for I take care of my kids my bills. It will be a shock to everyone. I need a sponser and a ear to listen to me.

Anonymous's picture

just wanted to know how you

just wanted to know how you have got on as im kind of dealing with the same kind of things!!!xxx

Anonymous's picture

Need questions answered please

I got a question, I stopped using Cocaine and Alcohol 9 days ago. Before that I only did coke when I would drink and that was like every 4-5 days. This has went on for over a couple years. The last time I did it, the next day i woke up feeling completly like crap, depressed, crying alot, panic attacks up the ass, and just so down.... I thought I would start to feel better as days passed by cuz I was just thinking it was a hang over no problem, I'll get over it... Well I havent'and alot of people when they feel like this they actually turn to drugs and alcohol.. me I turm away from them... So its been 9 days and honestly i feel like Im just losing my mind sometimes throughout the day and cry every now and than, feeling like im gonna stay and feel like this for the rest of my life and that im going crazy. Is this normal? what is going on with me? Do you think it could be caused by my body detoxing? and Do you really think i will get through this? Please respond.. Thanx

Serendip Visitor's picture

Help

I have the exact story, never again will I do this.
Please how long will I feel like this? I cant concentrate.

Please e-mail me

Anonymous's picture

yes, its the body detoxing

yes, its the body detoxing and it doesn't last forever. Hang in there

Anonymous's picture

COCAINE

This is my most Favourite Drug next to XTC. Coce is the best God ever made, u definetly have to try it. Life´s to short .... so Party hard.

Serendip Visitor's picture

what is wrong with you

this is for people getting over drugs not advertising them grow up you idoit... yea you only live once so why kill yourself and everyone around? you did you not read any of these storys and how this shit wrecked there life . you think what your saying is helping anyone ... hope you sort your life out.. and learn how you spell the drug your so in love with

Anonymous's picture

The cocoa plant is the

The cocoa plant is the cocaine free version of the coca plant - the coca plant it is not the same plant used to make chocolate where the the coca plant grows leaves and berries and the cocoa plant grows leaves with pod like fruit where the nuts inside are used from chocolate. Obviously Coca-Cola originally had cocaine in it, hence the name "Coca" cola. In moderation the coca plant has many positive effects, but like anything, if abused it can become highly addictive and deadly.

Anonymous's picture

Wrong

Yeh, im 18, i've inhaled a fair ammount of crack for my age, to be honest i've probably smoked it about 8 times. each of these times smoking one to four 10 sacks.

I've read through EVERY comment on this page looking for some kind of support and help, and i'm happy to say u lot have helped. I was always guilty days after doing this, my grandpa passed away a couple weeks back while i was having a night out in town, smoking crack. :/

Then shortly after the funeral i got hit at 60 mph by a car, shocking i know, luckily only coming out with a sprained knee, various big bruises around my body which make it hard to walk, and then to top it off i have just got swine flu.

this has happened around the time i had just started crack basically, i started maybe 2 - 3 weeks before my dear grandfather passed away, i felt heavy guilt when he did, even though i got to say my goodbyes a week before, THEN hit by a car at 60 mph very luckily survived and i think he was looking down on me, to then be sectioned off from the public because i have caught swine flu.

Maybe crack weakens your immune system, infact i am living proof it does because i am, or i was, a healthy fit teen a few weeks back before suddenly my life came crashing down on me.

Yes i am addicted to bud / pot. this isn't as bad as crack smoking and i intend to now quit bud.

it is SO temptin to go out with certain friends, pick up the can and start tootin through it.

but my life and my independence is far too more important and i am now strong enough to say no.

i know i am young, i dont normally do this kinda stuff online, but i hope this has helped a few.

bless

Anonymous's picture

I have an ex who has done

I have an ex who has done cocaine numerous times. I have left him but we have a son together so he picks him up for his parenting time. And that is when we usually communicate. Now that I am out of the situation, I seem to notice that even though he had gotten help and has been clean for a few months he says off the wall things and is still acting paranoid. Sniffs a lot while we are talking on the phone. I just wonder if cocaine affects you for the rest of your like to the point that you say things that don't make any sense and have no concept of what is going on even if you have been clean of the drug for a while?

Anonymous's picture

hes prolly still doing

hes prolly still doing it...been there...its just going to drive you crazy because he will never admit it

Anonymous's picture

systems of cocaine

I have not used in about 1 year 1/2 and I always feel that someone is watching me, and everybody knows that I tried cocaine. Sometimes when I am at work I feel as if I here A lot of noise I feel something strange, like I cant see straight, or I feel nervious. Sometimes I just know that everybody knows that I tried crack cocaine and is playing jokes on me to see what I will do, taping table with pins, always talking about the drug ect. I know that I love money and I was only doing it because of the man that I have been with for 12 years was a user for about , over 12 years. So the first day I tried it with him I felt stupid he wanted me to do thing that I would never do , then he would put the drug in my face and I would do it, because I felt that stupid I would do it then afer it was all over it was nothing. I wantedto have sex be he didnt so we would get more. after about a month of this I said no then he was not with me but somebody else. But My thing is the side effect of this is doing to me. Why I feel Like I cant see Or everything is blurry. or the little bit of noise make me made. Please tell me what to do ..!

Serendip Visitor's picture

not used in about 1 year 1/2

To me you are having these problems because you are focused on the experience you had and have not moved forward. I would bet your problems are psychological rather than actual physical damage. Give yourself some room to breathe, accept that you made some mistakes and allow yourself to move on. The symptoms you express can be related to anxiety and lingering adjustment. If you can not let go on your own seek some good support. Everything will be fine.

juan's picture

What damage3s does crack

What damage3s does crack cocain couse after u quit and what permanant damages do u have to live with after u stop permanently?please I haven't bin doing it for 1 year and I when I go out side I always feel like everyone is looking at me and that they worying about what im doing I was never like this can u please help me and tell me something about this please I need help I trie 2 talk to my self and tell my self that Im ok that don't worry about no one else that its my life but it works for that day but I have to keep reminding myself to feel good and go outside...

Jon's picture

A little know ledge with plants and a nice view

Labeling people is for losers. There are two sides to every coin, and in between those two sides is a lot of grey areas. What made cocaine bad is the fct that the government did nothing to help educate people whe they saw it's use on the rise. They just quickly slapped an illegal sticker on it, which to a normal curious mind, makes people curios. I mean, as a kid, didn't your mom limit your intake of candy/sugar? I hope so, and if she was any parent with a sense of being a good teacher, she would've told you why it's not good all the time. Now you grew up with a healthy ability to understand and control your sugar intake. Sugar does the same thing. Kids on a suger "high" is very similar to the high adults experience on cocaine. They feel excited, they feel a rush, and there is an inevitable crash, the same with sugar or coffee. So don't be so quick to label cocaine users as losers. Originally they were just curious why something was deemed illegal. But then the DARE program put it in every one's heads that people use drugs to escape their problems. So now what does some teenager who is confused about puberty and identity and the fact that they get picked on at school do? They naturally will gravitate to something that has been proven to help them escape. Thanks DARE program and all the people who didn't take the time to educate people and treat all humans as our family. Thanks to the Government that just wanted to control us, instead of inform us and help us coexist with the plants that provide us with these substances. I'm not that religious but I believe in the bible in genesis it states that God gave all the plants and herbs to us to use. To use, not abuse, and not outlaw!

Anonymous's picture

cocaine

I just was googling ways to come down and came across this page and comment and I agree that the government has taken action before educating people... I mean why is alcohol still legal if people are killed in drunk driving accidents as often as they are? People are just as easily addicted to legal alcohol as they could be to anything else but u can buy it at a grocery store. I don't get the thought process of the people making these decisions at all.

Anonymous's picture

The trouble with my husband

My husband is a drug user. I want to know how does it affect me during sex. Will it harm my body at all. Then if I had to fall Pregnant can it affect my baby. I dont want to have to find out I am pregnant and find out it is a disabled baby. It will kill me. My husband smokes Crack Cocaine and the snorts cocaine. I am so scared of this and i refuse to have sex with him and I refuse to have another baby with him.

Anonymous's picture

I quit using the stuff.

All whom has ever been involved with Cocaine, know that it is the worse drug you can do, because you can hide it for a long time. Then you can rationalize your use and then finally it becomes the reason you exist. You need it to be happy,horny, assertive, to chill. You need it for everything. That is what makes it so dangerous. Soon you will discover that it is all that matters. When that day comes, it is usually after you have lost what really matters. It could be your love one, your career or more devastating yourself. When you loose yourself it is hard to come back. So, if you are using cocaine or cocaine is using you. Do it no more than two days in a row and after that start strecthing the time in between uses. But always maintain the no more than two day rule and you will always have a chance to quit. Ultimately do not ever get comfortable doing cocaine. It is evil because it usurps your lifeforce. Just stop and when you slip re determine and stop again until you win. I won and the more people I encourage the stronger I get. You can be free of the habit.

Mike im 25's picture

All you said is very true.Im

All you said is very true.Im ready to start my life now drug free.Ihave lost to much from this good jobs people i love now im about to loose the girl i love more than anythig. It is very hard to say no. Im ready to win this fight but i need diretion.HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME before i lose

Anonymous's picture

shooting pain

i used to use a lot about a year ago and i haven't used in months but for my bday one of my friends brought it to me. i didn't do a ton but later that night i got sharp muscle pains all in my arms and hands it was so painful i just had to stay still. It hurt way to much to move and my fingers were getting kinda swollen. When i finally went to sleep and woke up the next morning everything was fine. at the time i didnt know what caused all that pain. that was about 9 months ago. last night i did it again for the first time since then and the same thing happened.

i was just wondering what that means/is etc. and aside from trying something like Advil how do i make it go away? (not that im rushing to use again but who knows what will happen)

Drug Rehabilitation's picture

Indeed, cocaine is one of

Indeed, cocaine is one of the nastiest drugs. I have a friend who ended up in a drug rehabilitation center due to cocaine addiction. He is under therapy for two years now and even if he’s not an addict anymore, cocaine messed up his body and his mind --- from this, he will never recover again.

Anonymous's picture

To plenty of negative

There is nagative out there to warn people about the dangers??!! hello, we all know the good side of cocaine otherwise we ouldn't be online trying to find out the dangers or the effects.
They need to be doom & gloom... or do you think that the only sites on the internet should say come on kiddies shnaf a line you will feel like rainbows & butterflies!!

Anonymous's picture

There's plenty of negative

There's plenty of negative input displayed throughout comments and such. What about the positive views and beauty of cocaine use? How come no one mentions this?

Anonymous's picture

I'am a drug user whom quit

I'am a drug user whom quit using cocaine, whom was a dealer, its a crazy thing, it will tear the house that you've built completely down, it will destroy the fabricate of your existence away, it affects your thinking ability to the point of one becoming literal moron, please anyone that reads this and failed to put God and total honesty in your life to have a shot at not going back in the ring with the undefeated heavy weight crack of the world, with his record being 100,000,000,000,000,0000,0000,000 wins and zero defeats. Only thing I can tell you is don't get in the ring with the champ, you will get knocked the heck out every time, so just don't get in the damn ring.

God Bless, IT WORKS

Ada's picture

Scientists have proposed

Scientists have proposed that cocaine exerts its lethal influence by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates heart rate. But a new study of cocaine-infused dogs indicates the drug may have an additional--and more critical--effect on another part of the nervous system. Cocaine appears to inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system, which normally acts as a protective "brake" to slow a rapidly beating heart. The finding suggests new treatments for cocaine overdose that will soon be used in all the detox clinics around the states.

Anonymous's picture

My experience to crack, addiction, and damage to human health.

I would like to state that I highly agree that Cocaine, and especially Crack Cocaine causes brain damage. Definitely temporary… and to an extent permanent depending on duration and frequency of abuse and use.

I’ve used Crack Cocaine maybe in total around 15 times in my lifetime over the course of the past year. Truth be told the first experience I had with it was one that I couldn’t forget, I really thought I found something magical. So I would use every so often no more than once for every 2 weeks to a month… sometime off for 4 months. But one thing definitely consistent is that every time using I’d intensely regret the use the following day. Feelings of being lost, having no purpose, and overall feeling like garbage… like life is just a waste.

The duration of the effects are very short lived… it’s like a few minutes in heaven for a few days in hell. Hours after the last hit, it feels as if shards of glass are moving through my brain as my body tries to rid itself of this highly destructive drug. It was like my thoughts, memories, and everything I learned… the neural connections made of my past were being ripped into shreds of nothing. My mind was extremely fuzzy the following day… almost as if someone had ran some high voltage electric current and fried my brain. It’s not like the after effects of pot smoking… where the mind feels a little hazy like it’s been in the clouds… it’s like it’s been seriously short-circuited. The fuzzy state of mind is at it’s worst the following day… but gradually recovers taking about 2 weeks to recover fully… and that is as far as it will recover and I still notice damage done particularly in learning… I will have to accept the damage done and move on at this point.

The damage done to my mental being isn’t the only thing to consider. After smoking… my lungs feel as if they can’t fully inhale a deep breath… I feel like I want to have more oxygen and what I’m getting just isn’t enough with each breath I take. I feel as if many of my alveoli have bursted… popped like a balloon. Like early emphysema, I find myself short of breath. During the high of Crack Cocaine, I felt as if my heart was going to burst out of my chest… and as I was coming down, I felt my heart beating so fast, but it was almost as if it was too tired too keep beating… it desperately wanted a rest. It beated irregularly and out of rhythm, occasionally it would spasm and I can feel these spasms as I put my hand over my chest. My heart felt damaged for over 2 weeks after… and I would have to put my hand over my chest… I feared permanent heart damage. Thankfully my heart is no longer sore, and my lungs feel like they can breath once again…

For those that don’t know the science behind it, it’s a sharp molecule, jagged almost like glass… that is why I feel as if it was cutting through my mind, although I realize that at the molecular level, Cocaine is much smaller than a neuron. It blocks the reuptake of dopamine in between synapses causing an excess of it highly exiting all post-synaptic neurons in the area of the pleasure center of the brain. In the peripheral nervous system, it causes numbing and prevents any feeling.

One key thing I would like to point out… this drug doesn’t make any bias in choosing it’s victims. Regardless of Race, class, sex, religion, education… all that doesn’t mater. And forget about habitual or long-term damage done… the damage is evident even after a single use… based on my experience. So one must wonder what had brought me back? Well low-self esteem has been a problem my whole life, and after 6 or 8 beers I lose all inhibitions that restrain me… only to want to get to another level of feeling. Only to wake up the next day with totally blood shot eyes, destroyed capillaries, and having very little energy to do much of anything.

Next time I notice any drug dealer pushing this horrible destructive drug, I will call the cops. This drug is responsible for ripping black holes in parts of society. Also just wanted to share my experience… I’m very saddened by it and really wish I can erase these experiences from my past. Well I can share them and hope people will steer clear of this horrible destructive awful drug Cocaine… and ESSPECIALLY Crack Cocaine, it’s free base form… which has the hydrogen removed, is less water soluble, is more fat soluble, and crosses the blood brain barrier that much faster hitting you like a bag of bricks.

magaret mears's picture

THE BEST TREATMENT IN THE WORLD IS THE ONE AND ONLY JESUS CHRIST

Yes, I am a rcovering crack-cocaine addict. It is so easy for people to down
people like myself, who battled with this addiction for about three years. I can remember the times that I stole, lied, cheated, and even lost my three most beautiful children for the use of crack. I can remember the times of walking the streets at all hours of the night, only living in darkness, never wanting to see the light! Now today, I must say that I have been living life with the light of the LORD JESUS today! And he guides me every day for the past two years to overcome my weaknesses and thoughts of ever touching that stuff again! For those of you out there, who are still struggling with this terrible disease(And that is exactly what an addiction is, and it can be cured!) just look to the greatest treatment there is! JESUS CAN MAKE YOU WHOLE AGAIN!!!!! HE CAN MAKE YOU WHOLE AGAIN!!! HE CAN TAKE ALL THE PAIN AWAY!!! AND HE CAN RESTORE THE LIGHT IN YYOUR LIFE!!!! PUT ALL IN HIS HANDS!! HE DOES NOT LOOK AT YOU LIKE YOU ARE A BAD PERSON, AND HE CAN HELP YOU IF YOU REALLY WANT IT!! I AM LIVING PROOF! I am own my way to work in law enforcment hoping to help those who have lived the same life I did, and to educate those who really don't understand the dangers of drug use!!!
Thanks, Maggie

Anonymous's picture

god

god isnt real

Anonymous's picture

Crack is highly addictive and dangerous

I grew up in an inter-city black community in the 1980's. I watched crack destroy all who crossed its path. I witnessed beautiful black women turn into crack peens. I watched helpless children being escorted to foster care. I watched many black men prosper from the sale of cocaine with no regard to whom they were killing. CRACK IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND DANGEROUS. It is easy for a person like me who only witnessed the effects, but never suffered the effects, to say to the addict, just stop doing it. I know for a fact that crack is a hard habit to stop, as with any drug. What I can say is look at what crack did to the black community, we need role models to step in and stop the epidemic. We need people who have recovered from crack to preach to the youth on the many dangers. Crack has no racial preference I only mention the black community because I am a product of the enviornment. For anyone regardless of race, seek a higher spiritual path and share your blessings with those who still suffer from crack addiction.

Anonymous's picture

CRACK IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE

YOU COULDN'T HAVE PUT IT BETTER.

Anonymous's picture

Cocaine and Nails

No, I'm not asking about a new method of snorting cocaine. I simply want to know if anyone trying to free themselves from this devil has noticed deterioration or even separation of their toenails from the flesh. I believe I've spotted some neuropathy in the toes which might be related to this (I fear) gradual loss of my toe-nails. And yes, I know the solution is simply stop using. i'm trying....

drug rehab in california's picture

I'm an ex-addict

My elder brother died from a cocaine induced heart attack. Still, he didn’t use a fraction of the amount I used. I knew I was going to die if I didn’t. I went to a twelve step fellowship and thought the people were strange. I stopped for a few weeks. They talked about GOD... I didn’t listen to what they said. My problems were so much deeper than theirs. They didn’t understand. I started again. That's when my wife filed for divorce.I knew I had to stop. I wanted to stop. I had tried to stop but I could not. My boss told me he had to let me go from the job, so I went to C.A. and I knew I had found home. I got a sponsor I worked through the steps with him. I have been clean and sober since. I thank God for C.A. every day. I have the old job back. I am still married. I have a wonderful relationship with my kids today.

Anonymous's picture

Your story

Thank you. Your story touched me. I never reply to anything on the web, but yours spoke to me. My husband is in jail now on probation violation after I called the cops on him a month ago. He is an active addict and I am on the verge of filing for divorce. He has not accepted the fact that his drug use has us where we are right now. I hope that he will wake up soon, but if he doesn't, I will keep on living and making a good life for our kids. Thank you again for sharing your story. I see that there is still hope for some.

Anonymous's picture

There is no such thing as an ex addict.

There is no such thing as an ex addiction, once an addict, all ways ab addict.
If you start again today you will pick up where you left it last time. And if you don't stop for good it will kill you.

Anonymous's picture

LISTEN TO ME

i was a user for a while. no problems other than the serious crashes and craving, guilt, etc. last week i did some as usual and then all of a sudden my heart just gave.....it was horrifying. i have no agenda. it can and will happen. i didnt believe. palpatations, excessive heart rate....hurt like hell. i am lucky....i am also no longer a user. i had no choice but to call ambulance. i had to tell them what happened. so a narc sat in my room all night until i could talk....its alot of fun. its real.

Anonymous's picture

The exact thing happened to

The exact thing happened to me. Smoked for months and then all of a sudden....blam, my heart gave. Cops sat in my room all night. Never touched it again. My chest hurts to even think of smoking it. I know there is damage, I am not the same person as a few years ago. Something is different in my body and mind. God I wish I could go back.

Claire's picture

Yes some of the info isn't correct

We all know its "BAD" so just don't do it. I also heard that someone thought they could pick it up by kissing, Im pretty sure their is no way.

I find it really pathetic that young women are using it to be thin, like why don't ya just go kill yourself already.

Cocaine is for LOSERS.

Anonymous's picture

Poor angry person

Cocaine creates addiction and that's not to be taken lightly. Now if you're talking about people that use it as a desperate measure to loose weight then the problem is even more serious. So I sincerely suggest you save your imflamatory comments and judgments for when a member of your family falls prey of such a terrible drug and you'll see how different it feels.

Never yours
Someone that cares.

Candy_Man's picture

Poor angry person

and of course you should know this because you did it once or twice with a couple of friends back in the day and one of them thought they were fat and /or depressed and they O.D and now you're saying this to save one's life? what if they wanted to do it and /or being suicidal of a sort? what if they wanted that extra high ? how can you tell when you look at someone that they do cocaine? matter of fact i did it but i want more of it becuase it's fun getting high and satying like that for long time

Anonymous's picture

I recently tested positive

I recently tested positive for cocaine on a drug test for work which was very shocking because i dont use any kind of drugs..if my boyfriend uses cocaine and we have intercourse or kiss could it in anyway get into my boodstream and make me test positive for it??

Anonymous's picture

yes cocaine can come up in a

yes cocaine can come up in a piss test i failed with 400 mg in my last piss test at probation even though i have never done it myself my boyfriend was on it when we had sex and it showed up positive not just trace amounts so be careful next time

Anonymous's picture

Not sure how true it is, so

Not sure how true it is, so it may not help you but I heard a story about a girl who appealed her possitive cocain test results and told the board her boyfriend did cocain and that she swallowed believe it or not,and supposedly she got her job back. as i said i'm not sure how true but its what I heard.

Anonymous's picture

COCAINE

THIS HAS BEEN MY FIRST INTERACTION I HAVE DEVELOPE HIVES SWOLLEN LEGS LIP AND ARMS HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST I WAS SO SHAME IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM

Anonymous's picture

Hivers

same here using off and on, all is fine, then one day did a line and hives came...bad...itch!! AUUUGG!! lasted on and off about a week until it was out of my system..sucked

Anonymous's picture

Any clue?

Did you ever find out if it was something toxic in the batch?

Anonymous's picture

That's a bit sensationalist...

As I'm reading this, I find myself wondering... wherever are you getting this information? Then, of course, I get down to the sources: theantidrug.com, shesinrecovery.com, well.com, and healthy.net. All of these websites are pushing their agenda and aren't what I would call reliable.

washington.edu and nih.gov are much better sources, but they don't actually use the word, "damage," in reference to changes induced by cocaine exposure. In fact, they don't say cocaine does anything to the brain except affect the dopamine neurotransmitter system! Yes, it increases the risk of various health related issues, but that's not equivalent to brain damage.

mit.edu is talking about prenatal exposure and doesn't apply to your paper. Why did you use this again?

Do your research and stop being hysterical. Cocaine is addictive, yes. Cocaine can change the way your brain functions, yes. Cocaine can even increase your risk of siezures, heart attack and stroke, but cocaine is not the devil nor the worst thing on the market. It's reports like these that get the public's opinion's skewed and changes the way society deals with these problems. We need the facts so that we can deal with them appropriately.

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