Also known as: Blow, Bump, C, Candy, Charlie, Coke, Crack, Flake, Rock, Snow, and Toot, cocaine
What is cocaine?
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug. Made from leaves of native South American coca plant . Cocaine comes in two forms:
- Powder is a white powder (which scientists call a hydrochloride salt). Street dealers often mix cocaine with other substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. They also mix it with stimulant drugs like amphetamines, or synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, which has caused deaths.
- Crack is a form of that has been processed to make a rock crystal. The term “crack” refers to the cracking sound the rocks make when they are heated.
There are a few different ways that cocaine can enter the body: through the nose by snorting, and directly into the blood stream by injection.
How does cocaine affect the brain?
Cocaine increases levels of the natural chemical messenger dopamine in brain circuits related to the control of movement and reward Normally, dopamine recycles back into the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between nerve cells. In the space between two nerve cells, stopping their normal communication. This flood of dopamine in the brain’s reward circuit strongly reinforces drug-taking behaviors, because the reward circuit eventually adapts to the excess of dopamine, and becomes less sensitive to it. As a result, people take stronger and more frequent doses in an attempt to feel the same high, and to obtain relief from withdrawal.
Can a person overdose ?
Yes, a person can overdose on cocaine. An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of a drug to produce serious adverse effects, life-threatening symptoms, or death. An overdose can be intentional or unintentional:
How does use lead to addiction?
As with other drugs, repeated use of cocaine can cause long-term changes in the brain’s reward circuit and other brain systems, which may lead to addiction. The reward circuit eventually adapts to the extra dopamine caused by the drug, becoming steadily less sensitive to it.
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