Cocaine is a white powder extracted from the coca plant and one of the most highly addictive substances known. There are different ways on how to use cocaine in order for its effects to be felt quickly. This includes snorting the powder and dissolving the powder in water then injecting it intravenously. In the 1970s, freebase cocaine appeared when users developed a method for separating the most potent chemicals in cocaine by heating it with ether. This produced a cocaine base, or freebase, that is even more powerful. It is usually smoked in a water pipe or is mixed in a tobacco or marijuana cigarette. Crack is a form of free-base cocaine that is boiled down into tiny chunks, or rocks, which are usually smoked.
The nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area are the parts of the brain being activated by cocaine. These parts of the brain are known to register the feelings of pleasure and reward. Normally, when a pleasurable event occurs, dopamine is released into the synapses in these areas of the brain and then binds to receptors on neighboring synapses. Cocaine blocks the reuptake of dopamine into the transmitting neuron, causing dopamine to accumulate in the synapse, maintaining the pleasurable feeling.
Initially, cocaine produces a sudden rush of intense euphoria, followed by great self-esteem, alertness, energy, and a general feeling of competence, creativity, and social acceptability. Users often do not feel drugged. A feeling of becoming the person they always wanted to be happens instead. Cocaine produces feelings of grandiosity, impulsiveness, hypersexuality, compulsive behavior, agitation, and anxiety, reaching the point of panic and paranoia when taken in very heavy dosage. Feelings of exhaustion and depression happens after stopping the use of the substance which is often followed by sleeping for long amounts of time. With the person’s physiological and psychological dependence, users feel an intense craving for the substance.
Many cocaine abusers and dependents started with heavy alcohol or marijuana use and then graduated to harder substances, including cocaine. The unusually quick and powerful effects of cocaine on the brain’s reward centers, however, seem to formulate this substance more likely than most illicit substances to result in patterns of abuse and dependence, even between people who have never been heavy users of any other substances.
Cocaine has been blamed as one of the primary reasons why crime has been rising. By letting the addict to go through a drug rehab, the problems brought about by cocaine addiction is slowly being rid. As cocaine addiction is on the rise, different drug rehab centers have been sprouting in order to help the cocaine problem. Victims of cocaine dependency and addiction are being helped by several established treatment and drug rehab programs. Medical treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapies are being provided to these patients. Moreover, the problem of addiction and dependency does not stop with the elimination of the drug intake. It goes as far as teaching the patient a new life free from drugs. Discussing how the addiction came about are also being tackled as part of other treatment programs all for the abolishing of cocaine addiction. This is attributed to the fact that there are cases wherein physical and sexual abuse have been associated to drug dependency. When people couldn’t seem to handle such stressful events, they tend to resort to certain behaviors that may allow them to escape the mere thought of the undesirable experience, which is craving for the euphoric feeling given by drugs.
Drug rehab is very potent to solve the problems of cocaine addiction.