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Cocaine Addiction   PDF  Print  Email 

In 1997, there were approximately 1.5 million regular users of crack cocaine or powdered cocaine.

Why would anyone become addicted to cocaine?

The effects of cocaine are immediate, extremely pleasurable, and brief. Cocaine and crack cocaine both produce intense but short-lived euphoria and can make users feel more energetic. Like caffeine, cocaine produces wakefulness and reduces hunger. Psychological effects include feelings of well-being and a grandiose sense of power and ability mixed with anxiety and restlessness. As the drug wears off, these temporary sensations of mastery are replaced by an intense depression, and the drug abuser will then "crash", becoming lethargic and typically sleeping for several days.

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Is cocaine addiction serious?

Cocaine addiction can occur very quickly and be very difficult to break. Animal studies have shown that animals will work very hard (press a bar over 10,000 times) for a single injection of cocaine, choose cocaine over food and water, and take cocaine even when this behavior is punished. Animals must have their access to cocaine limited in order not to take toxic or even lethal doses. People addicted to cocaine behave similarly. They will go to great lengths to get cocaine and continue to take it even when it hurts their school or job performance and their relationships with loved ones.

Are there any other problems that can occur from crack or cocaine addiction?


Crack and other forms of cocaine can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, which may last for weeks. Attempts to stop using the drugs can fail simply because the resulting depression can be overwhelming, causing the addict to use more cocaine in an attempt to overcome his depression. This overpowering addiction can cause the the addict to do anything to get cocaine.

Index of Terms

TermDefinition
Addict ad·dict - n. a person who has a habit so strong that it cannot easily be given up [a drug addict]

v. to give onceself up to some strong habit [Some people are addicted to watching TV.]
Addiction ad·dic·tion - n. the condition of being addicted to something [trying to conquer an addiction to drugs]
Caffeine The stimulant drug found in coffee and some teas.
Cocaine A bitter, crystalline drug obtained from the dried leaves of the coca shrub; it is a local anesthetic and a dangerous, illegal stimulant; the primary psychoactive ingredient in the coca plant and a behavioral-affecting drug.
Crack Cocaine The chemical cocaine is found in the oil of the coca plant leaf. When processed, cocaine is chemically turned into water-soluble powder form called cocaine hydrochloride. Crack cocaine, much like "freebasing" cocaine, is cocaine powder that has been turned back into an oil form of smokable cocaine.
Drugs Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree they are taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one dead. This is true of any drug. Each has a different amount at which it gives those results.
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