Cocaine is a drug classified as a stimulant. Stimulants enhance the effects of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. The effects of dopamine involve increased alertness, attention, energy, motivation and euphoria. Essentially, it’s the driving force behind invigorating behavior to blissfully pursuit rewarding outcomes.
What controls the natural release of dopamine is stimuli that signals you to anticipate a reward, for example the smell of good food, flirtation or cash bonuses. However, this is simplistic and any given stimuli does not guarantee release of this happy hormone. Unfortunately, some find cocaine to be a highly desirable substitute for a natural elusive provocation, at least initially.
Cocaine effects dopamine levels by increasing its release and blocking its reuptake. As a result, an excessive amount of dopamine builds up causing an intense euphoric effect that users refer to as a rush. Often described as an unbelievable feeling, the pursuit of that same rush can lead to addiction. And because alertness, attention, energy and motivation intensifies as well, some users justify their use as a means for better performance.
Problem with this replacement for naturally provoked dopamine is the repeated use of cocaine can cause your brain to adapt in a such way that the result is tolerance. In this case the rush of euphoria becomes elusive. So some users will increase their dose and frequency, which also increases the risk of addiction and physiological side effects.
Cocaine Side Effects
Cocaine use can cause a variety of adverse side effects, for instance:
- appetite loss
- dilated pupils
- rapid heart rate
- allergic reaction
- elevated blood pressure
- abdominal pain, nausea
- tremors, muscle twitches
- increased body temperature
- irritability, restlessness, anxiety, panic, paranoia
If your chosen route for administration is snorting, then loss of smell, nosebleeds, swallowing problems, hoarseness and runny nose are some additional probable side effects. Occassionally, cocaine use causes severe side effects, such as heart rhythm disturbances, heart attack, stroke, seizure, respiratory arrest and coma. And some of these side effects can easily lead to death.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptom of withdrawal that probably is the most difficult to overcome when you decide to stop cocaine after a long period of usage are the cravings, which studies indicate can increase instead of decrease over time. Additional cocaine withdrawal symptoms you may experience fairly soon after initially stopping are fatigue, lack feeling of pleasure, anxiety, irritability and sleepiness. These symptoms typically diminish with time.