Drugs and Treatment Essay

Pages: 3 (1193 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Cocaine

The Long-Term and Short-Term Usage

Treatment for Abusers and Addicts

Cocaine -- effects, symptoms, treatment

"After consuming a few doses of cocaine, [Freud] was hopelessly enamored of its ability to cure indigestion, soothe aches and pains, and, perhaps more important, relieve depression and anxieties. Freud even purchased some to distribute to his friends, colleagues, and sisters" (Mercer, et al., 1999, 81)

Cocaine is what the U.S. government calls a "…powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain" (www.drugabuse.gov). Due to the recent popularity of cocaine, it was referred to as "…the drug of the 1980s and 1990s" -- but cocaine is not a new drug at all. The U.S. government explains that cocaine is among the oldest known "psychoactive substances"; it is produced through coca leaves, which have been chewed and eaten by humans for "thousands of years." The powder form, which is extracted from the coca bush, has been used for various medical and recreational purposes for over one hundred years, the government source of information reveals. The purified chemical that was used for the "tonics and elixirs" that people ingested in the early 20th century was called cocaine hydrochloride; users today buy cocaine that has been "cut" with cornstarch, procaine, or with amphetamine, and in most instances the street cocaine is snorted through the nose (www.drugabuse.gov).

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Essay on Drugs and Treatment Assignment

What is the short-term feeling a user gets from taking cocaine into his or her system? There is a short period (between 15 to 30 minutes) during which the user feels"…euphoric, energetic," and is suddenly talkative, and seemingly mentally alert (www.drugabuse.gov). Physiologically the user is experiencing constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, along with a rapid heart rate; if the user has ingested larger amounts of the drug that can lead to "…bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior (www.drugabuse.gov). Some abusers experience "tremors, vertigo, and muscle twitches" along with disturbances in the rhythm of the heartbeat and possible gastrointestinal problems; some of the medical complications include neurological problems and seizures, the government explains.

Long-term cocaine use leads to addiction that is difficult to shake, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In fact for a person that has used cocaine for a lengthy period of time but has quit, the temptation to start again is powerful. "The risk for relapse is high even following long periods of abstinence" because the memory of that euphoric experience is vivid in the user's mind (nida). Any "cue" that the former user comes into contact with -- the person abstaining who is currently not using cocaine -- can "…trigger tremendous craving and relapse to drug use" (nida). Once the regular user has been ingesting cocaine for a long time, he or she may develop "tolerance' which means higher and higher doses of the drug are needed to "…register the same level of pleasure experienced during initial use" (nida). Some of the negatives for the frequent user include: nosebleeds; hoarseness; runny nose; panic attacks; paranoia; restlessness and even "…a full-blown psychosis" (nida).

What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that there were 1.9 million cocaine users in 2008; of that number, about 359,000 use crack cocaine, which is smoked instead of snorted. Most of the cocaine users are between the ages of 18 to 25, the federal agency reports; and when surveyed, 1.5% of young adults say they have used cocaine at least once in the past month (nida). As to which gender is most apt to use cocaine, the NIDA reports that men have "higher… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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