Cocaine or Benzoylmethylecgonine is obtained from the leaves of coca plant. It is an alkaloid and is crystalline in nature. It is a serotonin norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor. It affects central nervous system and elevates the release of dopamine, brain chemical. It gives a highly euphoric feeling to the person who consumes it. To grow, distribute or use cocaine for non-medicinal and other purposes is prohibited by law in most of the countries. Even though it is one of the widely abused illegal drugs throughout the world.

Cocaine is extracted from leaves of Coca plant. It comes in powder and crystal form. Powdered cocaine is commonly called “coke” or “blow”. It is snorted or injected. For injection purpose it is mixed with water. Crystalline cocaine is called Crack cocaine, crack or rock. It is heated and its vapour is smoked.

Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

When cocaine reaches blood stream of an addict, it travels to the brain. It elevates release of Dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a brain chemical responsible for communicating feeling of pleasure. After affecting brain it produces a high or euphoric effect. Addicts may have following feelings after having cocaine

•an increasing sense of energy and alertness
•an extremely elevated mood
•a feeling of supremacy
A cocaine addict could be easily identified with following symptoms

•A cocaine addict has dilated pupils.
•Cocaine addiction could produce unexplained high levels of energy and activity.
•Addicts of cocaine may have excited or exuberant speech.
Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is a highly addictive and harmful drug. It could produce several physical as well as psychological effects. Though it produces the high by affecting the brain, it could affect whole body mean while travelling to heart. It could yield several severe psychological effects as well by affecting brain.

Physiological Effects of Cocaine

•Cocaine use could affect heart badly. It could cause high palpitation, high blood pressure and contraction of arteries. It could even cause heart attacks in the addicts, who are not suffering from any heart disease. It could also cause cardiac arrhythmia.
•Cocaine use could lead to strokes as it can constrict blood vessels in the brain. Addicts, who have no other risk factors for strokes are also at risk of strokes, if they are using cocaine. It could lead to impulsive or violent behaviour.
•Addicts, who snort may have damages in the nose and sinuses. Regular use of cocaine could lead to nasal perforation. Smoking cocaine can also damage lungs. These damages could be permanent in nature.
•Cocaine constricts blood vessels and supply of blood to stomach could also be prevented by this resulting into problems of gastrointestinal tract. Stomach gets less oxygen due to constricted blood vessels and addict may suffer stomach ulcer, or perforation of the stomach or intestines.
•Cocaine could also cause kidney failure. It is done by a process called rhabdomyolysis in regular cocaine users. People, who are suffering from high blood pressure and use cocaine regularly, may have increased risk of the long-term kidney damage.
•Cocaine is known to be an aphrodisiac, but it adversely affects sexual functions. Regular use of cocaine could leave an addict with impaired sexual function in both men and women. It could also produce delayed or impaired ejaculation in men.
Psychological Effects

Cocaine affects brain and thus is capable of producing several harmful psychological side effects. It leads to euphoria and thus user gets addicted to it ultimately. It makes the user physically or psychologically dependent on cocaine. It could lead to impaired thinking and loss of balance or coordination. Chronic users stop getting feeling of pleasure even after use of cocaine.

Withdrawal symptoms

Addicts may suffer from withdrawal symptoms when deprived of cocaine. These symptoms last for around 7-14 days. Some of the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are as follows:

•Depression and anxiety
•Concentration problems
•Inability to feel pleasure
•High craving for cocaine
•Aches or pains
•Suicidal thoughts

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Author's Bio: 

Jack Taylor Powers Taylor LLP is a boutique litigation firm that represents people injured by unsafe drugs. The attorneys of Powers Taylor founded this firm to focus on client needs. We employ unique and creative litigation strategies to obtain decisive results for our clients.