Cocaine abuse is the misuse of the drug cocaine. The cocaine abuse definition includes persistently using cocaine to obtain the high that accompanies cocaine use or using cocaine for the increased stimulation that it causes. Cocaine has a few medical uses in certain very specific situations, primarily in controlling nosebleeds, especially during or after surgery inside the nose. Cocaine misuse quickly leads to a cocaine addiction for most people that misuse cocaine.
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What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine enhances the effects of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. This enhancement leads to a sense of increased energy and power. The increased effect of dopamine also causes the euphoric and pleasurable sensation that creates the high of cocaine.
People who hear about the effects of cocaine may wonder, “Is cocaine bad for you? If it makes you feel good and have more energy, what’s wrong with that?” The increased rate at which your body has to work when you use cocaine can lead to these side effects and can cause long-term damage to your body, including:
- Rapid breathing
- Fast heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Severe anxiety
- Problems sleeping
- Impaired judgment
- Sudden death from cardiac arrest.