212ch3c

Title: Drugwise: Growing Up Straight in a Chemical Culture
Author: Jim Parker
Publisher: Do It Now Foundation
Publication Date: September 2003
Catalog Number: 212



Cocaine

Cocaine is another
stimulant, like the amphetamines. In fact, it’d be hard to tell
a
cocaine-powered
turtle
from its speed-boosted
brother (or sister). Except instead of arriving shell-shocked,
it’d be
cracked.

That’s a joke–sort of. But there’s
nothing funny about the damage that cocaine
can do. And it does a
lot of that.

Like other stimulants, cocaine
speeds up the brain and body, increasing alertness
and heart rate and blocking appetite. Effects don’t last as long,
though–usually less than an hour. Unfortunately, problems can
last
a lot
longer.

Since it acts on the brain’s
pleasure centers, cocaine can produce serious dependency. It
can also interfere with basic body functions, including
heart rate. For some users, it can even stop heart contractions altogether. And when the heart
stops,
the
person stops
–doing cocaine
and
everything else.

There are two basic forms of cocaine, powder and crack, and they’re used
in two different ways. Powder is usually sniffed, while crack
is smoked. Even though
both contain
the same drug, the fact that crack is smoked only
compounds its risks.

Why? Because it’s smoked, rather than being absorbed into the body more
slowly, crack
squeezes its effects into a much smaller span
of time. It
shrinks a one-hour cocaine high into three minutes, which results in a faster-developing
addiction.

It also illustrates the main
difference between powder cocaine users and crackheads.
Powder users may watch their dreams turn to
dust,
but crackheads see theirs go up in
smoke.


Want to jump ahead (or go back)
to a particular drug or drug category? Click in the table below
to go there, or use the links, below right, to continue with
the main text.

Alcohol Downers Speed
Cocaine Marijuana Hallucinogens
Inhalants Narcotics Other Do It Now Info


Continue with Chapter 3: Inhalants
Continue with Chapter 4: Locks &
Keys

Go to Table of Contents


.


This is one in a series
of publications on drugs, behavior, and health published by Do
It Now Foundation. Check us out online at www.doitnow.org
.

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