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Cocaine Use 2012

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Cocaine

Cocaine Use 2012

Cocaine Use in 2012

Cocaine use in 2012 is on the decline. Once one of the country’s most popular drugs of abuse, cocaine use in 2012 has been largely overthrown by the prescription painkiller epidemic and the rising “designer drug” fad.  Even though cocaine use is far less common than it once was, the infamous War on Drugs continues to spend millions of dollars trying to intercept the illegal cocaine trade.

In 1986, the US Defense Department funded a two-year study, which found that the use of the armed forces to prevent drugs coming into the United States would have little or no effect on cocaine traffic and might, in fact, raise the profits of cocaine cartels and manufacturers. Unfortunately, the ineffective War on Drugs continues to use military forces to decrease cocaine use in 2012, most recently deploying 200 marines in Guatemala. Just another example of how the War on Drugs is out-of-touch with what’s going on in the drug scene.

Cocaine Use in 2012: What is cocaine and what are the long-term effects of cocaine use?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Cocaine’s addictive properties are related to its effect on the body’s reward pathways. It is a strong central nervous system stimulant that increases levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure, in the brain’s reward circuits. This release of dopamine causes the euphoric “high” that users experience when cocaine is ingested. The “reward” effect causes powerful cravings of the drug. Studies in mice found that if you give mouse cocaine every time it hits a lever, it will continue hitting the lever until it has overdosed, not stopping to eat, drink, or sleep.

Cocaine increases alertness, causes feelings of euphoria, and enhances energy. Anxiety, paranoia, and restlessness are common, with tremors and convulsions occurring at higher doses. Three routes of administration are typically used for cocaine: snorting, smoking, and injecting. The intensity and duration of cocaine’s effects are dependent on the route used to administer the drug; injection and smoking produce a quicker, stronger effect than snorting cocaine.

Abusing cocaine has a wide range of effects on the body. Cocaine constricts blood vessels and increases heart rate and blood pressure. It decreases appetite, so long-term users can become malnourished. Cocaine drug abuse can also cause gastrointestinal problems and headaches. Snorting cocaine can cause sinus infections and nosebleeds. Cocaine addicts can also experience extreme paranoia and hallucinations. Cocaine-related deaths are often the result of heart attacks or seizures.

Cocaine Use in 2012: Crack

While powdered cocaine use has been in steady decline since the 1980’s, crack cocaine has seen brief periods of increase, followed by decline, throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s. By 2000, the number of crack cocaine arrests in the United States had doubled, reaching its height in 2006. Two years later, however, the number of crack cocaine users was cut almost in half by the emergence of meth, ecstasy, and prescription painkillers. Crack cocaine use continues to be a problem, especially in urban areas in the US, but for the most part, cocaine use in 2012 is on the decline.

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