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CRACK, COCAINE, AND THERE EFFECTS

CRACK AND COCAINE

WHAT IS CRACK AND COCAINE?

Cocaine in its pure form is a white crystalline powder extracted from the leaves of the South American coca plant. Cocaine sold on the street is a mixture of the pure substance (cocaine hydrochloride) and various adulterants added to increase the quantity for the sellers' profit.

HOW IS CRACK COCAINE USED?

Most users snort cocaine, inhaling the powdered mixture into the nose. Cocaine may also be converted to be smoked as freebase, an especially dangerous practice. Crack is another form of cocaine which is smoked. Cocaine may also be injected.

WHICH USES ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS?

Cocaine use is physically risky in all forms; overdose can result in heart failure and death. Even small amounts of cocaine may cause convulsions, heart and respiratory failure, and death. This is true even for physically healthy persons. Sensitivity can also develop in those who have used the drug before, so prior use is no guarantee that a person is not sensitive. In addition to overdose risk, regular use can produce weight loss, chronic runny nose with damage to the nose and sinus, lowered resistance to infections and disease, high blood pressure, and seizures. Smoking cocaine or crack brings increased overdose risks because very large doses reach the brain within seconds. Injecting cocaine also delivers a large dose quickly with the resulting risk of overdose. It also carries the additional hazards of infection with AIDS or hepatitis, and adverse reactions to impurities.

WHAT IS CRACK?

Crack is a crystallized form of cocaine that is suitable for smoking. When smoked, crack delivers cocaine in very high concentrations to the small blood vessels of the lungs, producing an effect comparable to intravenous injection. A high percentage of crack users become addicted to the drug. Many people who intend to use it only once or twice become addicted quickly.

WHO USES COCAINE?

Cocaine use occurs in all levels of our society and in ages from teen though adult. Crack cocaine use is most prevalent in urban areas, but is certainly not limited to those areas; it also occurs in many rural areas and small towns.

DO THE COMPOUNDS USED TO DILUTE COCAINE INCREASE THE RISK IN ITS USE?

Yes. Cocaine adulterants and cocaine substitutes increase the hazards of an already risky drug. Cocaine purity ranges from 30% to 90%, so a user cannot monitor the dosage taken. Some of the adulterants themselves are dangerous as well.

CAN PEOPLE BECOME DEPENDENT ON COCAINE?

Yes. Cocaine is an addictive drug. Researchers have found that an addicted animal will prefer cocaine to food, even if starving. Some people who have been using the drug over a period of time, continue to use it just to feel normal or to avoid the severe depression and fatigue that occur when they try to stop using the drug. Virtually no one who becomes addicted to cocaine ever thought he or she would.

WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF COCAINE?

The immediate effects include dilated pupils and increases in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. The user usually feels a sense of exhilaration and well-being and may feel more energetic or alert. When cocaine is snorted, the effects begin in a few minutes, peak in 15 to 20 minutes, and disappear within an hour. When injected or smoked, cocaine effects occur faster and diminish sooner.

DOES COCAINE GET RIDE OF DEPRESSION?

No. Actually, using cocaine creates a form of depression. Once the effects of the drug wear off, users are likely to feel more down and depressed than when they started. This low is sometimes called coke blues. Users often take more cocaine to counter the low, and may begin to need more and more of the drug to feel normal.

DOES COCAINE IMPROVE CONCENTRATION AND PERFORMANCE?

No. Users often feel while under the influence that this occurs, but studies show that cocaine use actually reduces performance. The cocaine has changed the users' perceptions so that they feel that they did better when, in fact, they didn't. Moreover, cocaine is a short-acting drug, and within an hour a user feels less alert, more anxious, and more depressed than before.

DOES CONCAINE ENHANCE SEXUAL PLEASURE?

Cocaine may initially seem to act as an aphrodisiac, probably because of its initial psychological effects and its actions on the nervous system. However, when used regularly, cocaine can produce complete sexual dysfunction. Regular users are generally more interested in their cocaine use than in sex.

WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM PSYCOLOGICAL EFFECT OF COCAIN?

Early signs of trouble include increased irritability, short temper and paranoia. Some users have difficulty concentrating or remembering things, lose interest in sex, or have panic attacks. After weeks or months of regular bingeing, depression can become chronic, and hallucinations and signs of psychosis may appear.

HOW DOES COCAINE EFFECT THE HEART?

A large dose, or a moderate dose under some conditions, can overtax even a healthy heart and may be fatal. Regular use of cocaine can cause heart palpitations, angina, arrhythmia, and heart attack.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF COCAINE ON THE BRAIN?

Cocaine use stimulates a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine affects behavior and mood; its release causes the drug's effects. Regular cocaine use causes a depletion of dopamine, which brings the depression and other effects described above.

IS IT DANGEROUS TO USE COCAINE IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER DRUGS?

Yes, whether used simultaneously or consecutively. Alcohol and marijuana used with cocaine may lead to alcohol or cocaine overdose since judgment will be impaired. Combining cocaine with heroin, barbiturates, or sedatives, as in a cocaine-heroin speedball, may result in the build-up of either drug to toxic levels. Since cocaine is a stimulant, combining it with other stimulants can be especially dangerous. Finally, using cocaine regularly in combination with other drugs can result in cross-addiction, or addiction to several drugs simultaneously.

DO WIHTDRAWL SYMPTONS OCCUR WHEN POEPLE STOP USING COCAINE?

Yes. Withdrawal effects from stopping cocaine are not as easy to see as heroin or alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but they are just as real. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include exhaustion, irritability, sleepiness, loss of energy, depression, and an intense craving for more cocaine.

IS THERE A CURE FOR COCAINE DEPENDENCE?

Treatment for cocaine dependence is available, and most dependent cocaine users require this help in order to stop using cocaine. Cocaine dependence is a persistent and devastating experience. No one can predict which cocaine users will run into serious trouble. Users may be unaware or deny the negative effects of the drug because they are addicted. Treatment can be difficult, prolonged, and costly; craving may persist for long periods. Most people enter treatment due to financial and family problems.

HOW MUCH DOES THE COCAINE HABIT COST?

A cocaine habit can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars weekly. Even a crack habit is costly; a single dose is relatively inexpensive, but most regular crack users eventually begin to use many times a day.

HOW CAN I HELP?

For information and guidance, contact your physician or the nearest drug treatment or mental facility, or look under "Drug Abuse & Addiction," "Family Counselors," or "Mental Health Services" in the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory. In many areas, help is available through your school districtís student assistance program or the employee assistance program where you work.

DUSTY'S INFO

My name is Dustin Trankle and this is my crack and cocaine awarness page. I am not a crack or cocaine user but I have studied the effect of crack and cocaine and have found that this stuff is very bad news. There has been numerous amounts of studies on humans to confirm that crack and cocaine are not only extremely addictive but also extremely lethal if abused. I have seen the toll these drugs take on stong health people and I have seen how it ruins lives for familys and all different kinds of people. So here is my advice, STAY AWAY FROM THIS GARBAGE!!!!!! It is illegal, lethal, and the high is not worth ruining ones life over.

DRUG INFO LINKS

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Indiana prevention Resource Center
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