Essay, Research Paper: Cocaine 

Alcohol and Drugs

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Cocaine is one of the worst drugs on the streets today. It has destroyed
millions of lives and will hurt many more in the years to come. The Partnership
for a Drug-Free America is a group that is concerned. They created a web site
(located at http://www.drugfreeamerica.org.cocaine.html) that gives straight
information on cocaine and every other known illicit drug. This information is
invaluable to parents. With an enemy like cocaine people need all the
information that they can get. The web site explains every thing about Cocaine.
Cocaine is distributed in two main forms. Powder cocaine is a white crystalline
substance. It is usually snorted through the nose, or in can be mixed with water
and injected. This causes high that lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes. Crack
cocaine is cocaine hydrochloride. Cooking cocaine with baking soda produces
crack. The high from crack lasts about 5 to 10 minutes. Some people use it
occasionally and others use it many times a day. No matter how much it is
extremely addictive. The high produced by cocaine is a surge in energy, an
extreme feeling of pleasure. If used heavily it can cause its victim to suffer
from paranoia, aggression, insomnia, and depression associated withdrawal. Once
it is out of the user's brain the user may experience depression, irritability,
and fatigue. One of the main reasons people use cocaine is achieve an altered
state of perception (the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting
sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events Text
125). When the brain is under the influence of cocaine it will perceive
information from the environment differently. The main people use cocaine try to
get a feeling of euphoria, this is when the mind perceives everything as
positive. The feeling of euphoria only takes place while cocaine is in the
user's brain once it leaves the brain; the mind perceives almost everything as
negative. Another issue with the altered state of perception produced by cocaine
is people hurting themselves or others while under the influence of cocaine. A
person driving under the influence of cocaine has the extreme possibility of
being overconfident (the tendency to be more confident than correct-- to
overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs and judgments text page 274). An
overconfident driver not under the influence of cocaine can be a great danger.
That danger is multiplied by ten when that person is on cocaine. One of the main
problems with getting a user off cocaine is withdrawal (the discomfort and
distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug text page 191).
The symptoms of withdrawal associated with cocaine are paranoia, aggression,
insomnia, and depression. These symptoms are one of the main reasons that it is
hard for people to stop using cocaine. Another problem associated with cocaine
withdrawal is that after a while of heavy cocaine use the user can only achieve
happiness while under the influence of cocaine. To counteract the problems posed
by cocaine withdrawal there are support groups to teach people how to live their
lives without cocaine. Despite the odds everyday people beat their cocaine
addiction. The psychological perspective that is very important to the purpose
of this article is the social-cultural (investigates the connection between
society and behavior text page 5) perspective. The goal of the web site is to
give parents the information needed to protect their kids from drug abuse. This
perspective studies what influences people have to start using drugs in the
first place. Psychologists from this field are involved marketing anti-drug
information to people especially the youth. One thing that research in this
field is information on who uses the drug and why. The Federal Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) has commissioned many studies on why youths begin to use
cocaine. The have found what people have known for years. Teenagers tend to be
overconfident and they will try it, and before they know it they are hooked.
This information has helped spawn the "just say no" anti-drug
campaign. Another important perspective to this article is the biological (How
the body and the brain create emotions, memories, and sensory experiences text
page 5) perspective. Psychologist from this perspective study how cocaine
effects the brain. Their research is very important, since they might find a
drug that will alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine. If a drug like this
was found it would be a great help to people who are addicted to cocaine. What
cocaine does to the brain is terrible. It kills brain cells like beach kills
germs. After a long period of use a users can be described as "the walking
dead". Cocaine also has the possibility of killing first time users. The
reason for this is that many people's body is not able to metabolize cocaine,
and the only time people find out is after they are in the hospital with cartact
arrest.
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