Friday, July 8, 2005

World on Drugs

Increasing areas of the Unites States are affected by the innocent looking white powder called, cocaine. "I recently moved my family into a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, the proverbial suburbia, so we were all very surprised to find that we had just moved into what used to be a 'crack house', said Joanna Young, Drug Rehabilitation Referral Specialist for;

Cocaine/crack is a strong central nervous system stimulant that interferes with the re absorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. The buildup of dopamine causes continuous stimulation of “receiving” neurons, which is associated with the euphoria commonly reported by cocaine abusers. Physical effects of cocaine use include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. The duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects, which include hyper stimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental clarity, depends on the route of administration. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the shorter the duration of action. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Increased use can reduce the period of time a user feels high and increases the risk of addiction.

Cocaine/crack was endemic in almost all 21 areas in 2002. Rates of emergency department (ED) mentions were higher for cocaine than for any other drug. ED rates increased significantly between 2001 and 2002 in Baltimore, and were highest in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami, Newark, Detroit, and New York. In 2004, 3.7 percent of 10th-graders reported annual cocaine use, significantly below the peak in 1999, though year-to-year changes were not significant. Among 8th-graders, 1.1 percent reported annual cocaine use in 1991, a figure that increased to 3.0 percent in 1996, hovered around that point for several years, then dropped to 2.0 percent in 2004—significantly below the 1996 high point. Eighth-graders reported a significant decrease in perceived availability of both crack and powder cocaine in 2004. Twelfth-graders, however, reported a significant increase in perceived availability of both crack and cocaine in 2004.Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. A tolerance to the "high" may develop—many addicts report that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure. Some users will increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. While tolerance to the high can occur, users can also become more sensitive to cocaine's anesthetic and convulsing effects without increasing the dose taken. This increased sensitivity may explain some deaths occurring after apparently low doses of cocaine.

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