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Cocaine


Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic. Because of the way it affects the mesolimbic reward pathway, cocaine is addictive.

Effects

Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 15–30 minutes to an hour, depending upon the method of ingestion. Cocaine increases alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality. Athletic performance may be enhanced in sports where sustained attention and endurance is required.

Negative Effects:
Anxiety, paranoia and restlessness are also frequent. With excessive dosage, tremors, convulsions and increased body temperature are observed. With excessive or prolonged use, the drug can cause itching, tachycardia, hallucinations, and paranoid delusions. Overdoses cause tachyarrhythmiasand a marked elevation of blood pressure, which can be life-threatening. The experience of insatiable hunger, aches, insomnia/oversleeping, lethargy, and persistent runny nose are often described as very unpleasant. Depression with suicidal ideation may develop in very heavy users. Finally, a loss of vesicular monoamine transporters, neurofilament proteins, and other morphological changes appear to indicate a long term damage of dopamine neurons. All these effects contribute a rise in tolerance thus requiring a larger dosage to achieve the same effect.

Methods of Administration:

Oral:
Many users rub the powder along the gum line, or onto a cigarette filter which is then smoked, which numbs the gums and teeth – hence the colloquial names of "numbies", "gummers" or "cocoa puffs" for this type of administration. This is mostly done with the small amounts of cocaine remaining on a surface after insufflation. Another oral method is to wrap up some cocaine in rolling paper and swallow (parachute) it. This is sometimes called a "snow bomb."
Insufflation
Nasal insufflation (known colloquially as "snorting," "sniffing," or "blowing") is the most common method of ingestion of recreational powdered cocaine in the Western world. The drug coats and is absorbed through the mucous membranes lining the sinuses. Any material not directly absorbed through the mucous membranes is collected in mucus and swallowed (this "drip" is considered pleasant by some and unpleasant by others). Any damage to the inside of the nose is because cocaine highly constricts blood vessels – and therefore blood and oxygen/nutrient flow – to that area. Nosebleeds after cocaine insufflation are due to irritation and damage of mucus membranes by foreign particles and adulterants and not the cocaine itself; as a vasoconstrictor, cocaine acts to reduce bleeding.
Inhalation
Inhalation or smoking is one of the several means cocaine is administered. Cocaine is smoked by inhaling the vapor by sublimating solid cocaine by heating.

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