COCAINE Cocaine is a drug obtained from the coca plant. It is used medically as an anesthetic and as an illegal drug. It is mostly produced in countries in South America such a Columbia and Mexico. It is also produced in many other countries including the United States. The traditional method of cocaine use is to chew the leaves of the coca plant, giving a mild stimulation. Powder cocaine which is the most popular today is usually inhaled or injected into a vein and provides a lower high with major effects lasting almost 30 minutes. Freebase cocaine is usually smoked and causes a strong, short-lived peak for about 3- 5 minutes. There are many effects to the use of cocaine. Psychological effects varies with dose and the tolerance of the user. It increases alertness, wakefulness, and also elevates the mood. Also it increases concentration and energy, decreases fatigue which causes insomnia, and increases restlessness. With higher doses a person may exhibit a pattern of psychosis with confused and disorganized behavior, fear, hallucinations, and paranoia. Physical affects are profound loss of appetite, leading to severe weight loss and nutritional imbalance. Also increasing athletic performance, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Many people have suffered from seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and death. If cocaine is taken through the veins, unsterile needles can cause infections and diseases. These diseases can include Hepatitis B, blood poisoning, and of course, AIDS. Cocaine use is extremely dangerous to a pregnant mothers because it causes miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight (2 lbs.), stroke/death, malformation, syphilis, and disturbed behavior. The penalty for cocaine use or possession is usually a prison sentence. Depending on the judge and the state many have offered to first time offenders help in rehabilitation centers. Prison time depends mostly on the state. During the past few years there has been great legislation to make stiffer penalties to cocaine users and traffickers. In the past years many famous and important people have been associated with cocaine use. Among them are many athletes. The NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and the Olympic Committee all have adapted strict no tolerance drug policies. Among the most famous athletes who have ruined their careers because of drug use are Dweight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Jennifer Capriati, Larwence Taylor and many more. Cocaine isn't a narcotic. No evidence suggests that cocaine produces a physical dependence. But it is clear that a psychological dependence can result from heavy or continuous use. As you can see cocaine is only harmful to the human body, therefore should be outlawed. Not only have many famous people lost their lives with cocaine but also so have thousands of others. Cocaine not only hurts the user but also the people around them such as family and friends. Referring to the use of drugs in general there are no such things as winners, only losers.
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