Facts About Cocaine
If you snort, smoke or inject cocaine or care about someone who does, you more than likely have some unanswered questions about the nature and effects of this powerful drug.
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that causes dramatic changes in the brain and behavior. Once regarded as the status and power drug of the ’80s and early ’90s “me generation,” cocaine-in its various forms continues to wreak havoc on the lives of millions of Americans and their families.
With the possible exception of sucking and chewing coca leaves, as do natives of the high plains and mountainous regions of South and Central America, there is no safe way to use cocaine. It is proven to have a powerful effect on the brain and behavior and has high addictive potential.
Cocaine, more than any other drug of abuse, has direct and immediate access to the brain’s pleasure center. It causes disruption in the delicate chemistry that regulates mood, pleasure and survival drive.
Before the cocaine epidemic of the late ’70s and early ’80s, the drug was believed to be safe and not addicting. This was due, in part, to the belief that in order for a drug to be addictive, a user had to suffer withdrawal symptoms when it was withheld.
In other words, addiction was synonymous with withdrawal symptoms. Learning the truth about cocaine’s powerful addiction potential has been a costly and painful lesson to millions of users and their families, and to our nation.
How cocaine-induced brain changes result in changes in thinking, attitudes, self-destructive behavior and lifestyle has led neuroscientists to understand that addiction is a multifaceted brain disease which produces dramatic changes in one’s thinking, feeling and behavior.