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Cocaine abuse/ toxicity - Essay Example

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It occurs as a result of genetic background and environmental risk factors. The people from high risk family environments are highly prone to addiction. It has been stated that repeated exposure to cocaine leads to a…
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Cocaine abuse/ toxicity
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Cocaine abuse/ toxicity

Download file to see previous pages... Individual risk factors include male gender, late adolescence and behavior problems.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant and highly addictive drug making it one of the most frequently abused. Users typically snort the drug in powder form, liquefy it and take it as an injection or roll it and smoke.
Pathophysiology: cocaine is an alkaloid located in the leaves of coca plant, which enhances dopamine, serotonine and norepinephrine activity in the nervous system (central and periphery). Most especially, the enhancement of dopamine activity is the cause of the drug’s intended effects and developing abuse. It blocks Na channels, which is responsible for its action as a local anesthetic. The most important pharmacological action of cocaine involves blocking the initiation or conduction of the action potential after application to a nerve.
The anesthetic effect of cocaine is because of a direct membrane effect. It blocks the initiation and conduction of electrical impulses that occur in nerve cells inside the body by blocking an increase of cell membrane permeability to sodium ions when depolarization occurs. As such, the alternations in synaptic transmissions mediate the systemic effects on the nervous system.
Toxicity: it is life threatening sympathomimetic syndrome that has sodium channel blockade. A toxic dose is highly variable, small doses could cause intoxication in non-tolerant patients. Hyperthermia, cardiac conduction abnormality, headaches and focal neurological signs are of the life-threatening complications.
Toxicodynamics: cocaine has sympathomimetic, sodium channel blocking and vasospastic effects. It blocks myocardial fast sodium channels and presynaptic cathecholamine re-uptake and central nervous system excitation.
Toxicokinetics: cocaine use causes rapid absorption through mucous memberanes of lungs, CI tract and nasopharynx. It is a high lipid soluble and has a high metanolism rate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Though its popularity has declined somewhat since the 1970’s and 80’s, cocaine is still one of the top drugs of choice among users, abusers, and addicts. Blaise writes, “Cocaine abuse is widespread but rarely admitted. There is no cocaine consumer profile either for social class, age or sex” (pg. 1263). In truth, cocaine is not as insidious a drug as one might suppose. While users can typically hide their use for a little while, extended use of cocaine shows obvious external signs of their drug habit.
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