What Is Cocaine? How Does It Affect Your Body?
What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a highly alkaline toxin and stimulant that are obtained mainly from the leaves of two cocoa species, Erythroxylum mix and Erythroxylum dentata. It’s most commonly used as a stimulant and recreational drug. It is also used in dental treatments and is prescribed by some doctors as a painkiller for patients with severe dental pain. This is because it acts as a partial nerve root stimulator thus relieving the patient of pain by relaxing the nerve endings located in the soft palate. Although cocaine itself is not a narcotic, it can be compared to certain narcotics in the way how it affects the body, especially how it affects the brain. Cocaine addiction or substance abuse often begins when a person uses cocaine on a regular basis or starts using it while in an environment where it can have serious consequences if not used properly.
Cocaine is the most popular and highly distributed drug in the United States. As of 2021, cocaine was estimated to be worth US $14 billion worldwide. When taken in high doses, cocaine actually increases the amount of dopamine present in the brain and activates the pleasure center in the brain, similar to many dangerous and addictive drugs such as heroin. With constant use over a long period of time, cocaine users experience physical addiction where the brain’s dopamine receptors are reduced, which causes the user’s need for the drug to keep returning.
Cocaine’s effects on the brain are rather drastic. Within one week after cocaine use, users experience a powerful rush of energy that leaves them feeling jittery and alert. A common side effect of cocaine use is increased paranoia, wherein users begin to see and hear things that aren’t really there. This can also lead to a decrease in normal attention span and can cause a very depressed mood.
How Does It Affect Your Body
Like many other drugs, cocaine also produces physical side effects such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and nausea. Another physical effect of cocaine use is a loss of sex drive. Users also experience paranoia, and extreme mood swings. Most users of crack cocaine experience intense cravings for the drug, which can make recovering from crack cocaine addiction one of the most difficult challenges to overcome.
What is cocaine really doing in the brain? It has been shown that cocaine does not release nor exert control over serotonin receptors in the brain, nor does it affect nor alter nor stimulate neurotransmitters such as dopamine. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, cocaine does not bind nor interact with nor even interact at all with nor any receptor in the brain. Although some experts claim that certain cocaine users do experience small changes in brain function, these claims remain unproved.
What is cocaine? What is it doing in your body? It’s far more harmful than the drug use people believe it is. If you use cocaine, or any drug for that matter, whether it be crack, powder or pill form, you are subjecting your body to a barrage of harmful chemical agents which will have long term negative consequences on your health, both physically and mentally.