All the Dangers of Cocaine Part 1

Cocaine shaped like a skull and crossbones.

PART 1: Effects on Health

No single drug works as a pop-culture reference to the high-life of Western culture than cocaine. We’ve seen it in films. We’ve heard it in music. And there is a strong possibility that we have known someone who has struggled with cocaine abuse. However, despite the fun and high-energy portrayal that we frequently assign to cocaine, there are plenty of dangers that are directly attributable to the drug. Aside from marijuana, cocaine is the single most used illegal substance on the planet, and it is one that is highly physically addictive. Using cocaine presents a clear danger to your health, greater society, and disadvantaged people in the countries that produce it. This 3-part series will examine the effects of each of these categories…

Why people use cocaine

To understand the nature of the dangers of cocaine, you first must understand why exactly it is that people do cocaine. Many illicit substances are able to make the mind feel high-emotions of euphoria, which makes an individual feel like they are living an empty life when they are not on them. Cocaine is no exception to this fact. When a person uses cocaine, their mind begins to produce dopamine at incredibly high levels, and generates a high level of pleasurable stimulation and energy. It is easy to feel like you are on top of the world when you are using cocaine. It melts away issues of low self-esteem and anxiety, which can make it highly mentally addictive, on top of the physical addiction. After using cocaine for a short period of time, it will begin to rewire your brain to need it to produce dopamine, which means that withdrawals will cause depression and anxiety.

Short-term risks

Although the high energy that is generated by cocaine use is impactful, it is a high that is short-lived. Using cocaine can be followed by depression, since the brain’s ability to produce serotonin and dopamine has been impaired by the drug’s effects. Using cocaine produces several physical effects, such as respiratory problems like an irregular heartbeat, as well as loss of muscle control and lack of appetite. The effects on circulation mean that it can be easy to overdose on cocaine, which can result in mental deterioration, such as strokes and seizures, and even heart-attacks that are often fatal.

Long-term risks

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance, only rivaled by the most hardcore of illicit substances, such as heroin. Because of this, individuals who use cocaine tend to use it alot, and will be unable to function without it, at times. A cocaine addict will experience severe depression, and will have a hard time feeling positive emotions, unless they are under the influence.

Continued in Part 2.