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Cocaine Damages the Brain's Pleasure Cells

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Story here.
     
  2. valgore

    valgore Veteran Member

    thanks ethics. I sent this to a friend of mine whom I have known for 30 years recently started doing coke again. We had a circle of friends back in the 70's that experimented with a lot of different drugs and we seen a lot of those friends die or completely ruin their lives from addiction. me and my friend both gave it completely up and is probably why we have remained friends for so long. now I am really worried about him, he should know better!
     
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Is he addicted? If not, this should get him to stop!
     
  4. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Since when does logic have anything to do with addiction, Ethics?
     
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Well, hence my question. If he is addicted, then I doubt anything you tell him will get through and be listened to.

    If he is one of the casual users, or just starting out again, there might be hope.
     
  6. HaYwIrE

    HaYwIrE Banned

    Nip it in the bud right now valgore. Attack your friend with kindness, yet try to remind him why he quit in the first place. Addiction is a bitch and if it goes too far, especially after such a long time of being straight, things can get really bad. :(

    While we're on the subject of illegal drugs, and considering how many advocates of marijuana we have here at G.A., I see the following facts as being relevant to the issue...

    Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug among Americas youth. Among kids who use drugs, approximately 60 percent use only marijuana. Two-thirds of new marijuana users each year are between the ages of 12 and 17, while the number of eighth graders who have tried marijuana has doubled within the last decade.

    Prolonged use of marijuana leads to some of the same changes in the brain as cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Researchers have found that heavy marijuana use impairs the ability of young people to concentrate and retain information. This may be especially problematic during peak learning years, when their brains are still developing. In one study, adolescents attributed their own attention problems to marijuana use.

    Marijuana can also increase anxiety, panic attacks and depression while exacerbating symptoms in people already prone to those problems. Adolescents in one study associated anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide with their own marijuana use in the past year.

    Smoking marijuana causes many of the same respiratory complications as smoking tobacco, including daily cough and phlegm (symptoms of chronic bronchitis), frequent chest colds, and increased risk for lung infection, tissue damage and cancer. Regardless of THC content, the amount of tar and carbon monoxide delivered to the lungs is approximately three to five times greater for marijuana smoke than tobacco smoke. This is largely due to differences in the method of smoking tobacco and marijuana, such as larger puff volumes and longer durations of inhalation with marijuana. Some experts have linked marijuana use to a weakened immune system, which could impact the bodys ability to resist viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microbes, thereby increasing risk for infections among youth.

    Marijuana also negatively affects the skills required to drive safely: alertness, the ability to concentrate, coordination and the ability to react quickly. This increases the likelihood of crashes due to reckless driving, which may cause injury to the driver or other victims. A roadside study of reckless drivers who were not impaired by alcohol found that 45 percent tested positive for marijuana.

    In addition to the negative mental health effects, one study found an association between an increase in adolescent marijuana use and a decrease in the likelihood of attaining at least a high school education. Research has also found that youths with an average grade of D or below were more than four times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year as youth who reported an average grade of "A". Marijuana use also contributes to increased absenteeism. Students who have smoked marijuana within the past year are more than twice as likely to cut class than those who did not smoke, while health problems associated with using marijuana can keep students from attending school due to illness. Many schools now impose zero-tolerance policies for drugs, mandating serious consequences for drug possession or use, including suspension and/or expulsion.

    A recent study found that early adolescent marijuana use correlated with future deviant behavior, including dropping out of school, taking risks and behaving violently. Studies show that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 who use marijuana weekly are nearly four times more likely to engage in violence than those who do not, and are more prone to behaviors that include destruction of property, stealing and physical violence against others. In fact, marijuana was the most commonly used drug among juvenile male and female detainees in 1999. Adolescent marijuana use is also associated with social withdrawal, increased delinquency, rebelliousness and poorer family relationships.

    Research now shows that marijuana can be addictive. A recent study found that when abstaining from marijuana for just three days, regular users experienced withdrawal symptoms, including drug cravings, decreased appetite, sleep difficulty and weight loss, along with increased aggression, anger, irritability and restlessness. Teens are especially at risk for addiction because they generally become addicted to substances faster than adults and rarely receive early intervention because signs of their drug use are frequently passed off as typical teenage behavior. Research shows that marijuana use is three times more likely to lead to dependence among adolescents than among adults.

    More kids enter drug treatment for marijuana abuse than for all other illicit drugs combined. In fact, 60 percent of teens in drug treatment are dependent on marijuana. Of all the people entering treatment for marijuana in 1999, more than half first used the drug by the age of 14.

    Despite overwhelming evidence suggesting marijuana is dangerous to youth, fewer than one-third (30 percent) of 12th graders believe occasional marijuana use is harmful and nearly 40 percent of teens associated smoking marijuana with popularity. The drug is also highly accessible to youth, as more than 88 percent of 12th graders say that marijuana is "fairly" or "very" easy to obtain.

    Parents remain the most important influence on children when it comes to drugs. Two-thirds of youth ages 13-17 say losing their parents respect is one of the main reasons they dont smoke marijuana or use other drugs. It is important for parents to send a clear message, as parents who express strong disapproval of drug use and who do not use any substances themselves decrease the likelihood that their child will use marijuana.

    <b>Research shows that parents who consistently set down rules and expectations for their children's behavior decrease their child's risk for substance abuse. In 2000, only seven percent of youth ages 12-17 who indicated that their parents would strongly disapprove if they tried marijuana once or twice had used an illicit drug in the past month, while 31 percent of youth whose parents did not strongly disapprove reported drug use in the same period of time.</b>

    But I'm sure that legalizing it would solve the problem. :thumbsup:

    <small>(SOURCES FOR THE ABOVE INFORMATION ARE AVAILABLE IN THE ATTACHED PDF DOCUMENT)</SMALL>
     
  7. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Haywire, while I don't dispute the information you post regarding the harmful effects of smoking pot on adolescents, I really don't see how this is relevant to the discussion about cocaine effects on pleasure centers of the brain. Nor do I agree that legalizing pot would cause more more kids to become pot smokers, but again, this is irrelevant to the discussion. Perhaps another thread would be a good place to discuss this (again).

    Back OT, I recall a phrase that is often used in conjunction with herion use -- "chasing the dragon" -- which I've always taken to mean trying to recapture that first, immense, high when taking the drug for the first time. I've never done coke or herion so I don't know from experience whether or not this is true (but I've smoked pot, and in my experience it does not have this effect) but it certainly makes me wonder what role this plays in perpetuating the addiction.
     
  8. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    I started using drugs in '74. Pot never did anything for me... amphetamines and cocaine were my drugs of choice. Around '81 I started using cocaine at parties if people were giving away a free line or two.

    The research is probably right about cocaine destroying or damaging the brain's pleasure centers. About /82 or so, I found myself buying a gram every couple of weeks... then every week... then 8-balls (1/8th ounce) every week... then 1/4 ounce every week... then 1/2 ounce every week.

    I was always searching for the same high I had back when I snorted a line here or there, but it seemed more and more was needed... and I still wasn't reaching that same high.

    Although my salary was sufficient to afford it before (without resorting to any other crime other than being a user)... by '89 and 1/2 ounce per week, I recognized it was becoming a problem. Started skipping my bills, getting threatening letters from my home lendor, and by that time my boss at work was figuring it out... but I said fuck them all as long as I had my cocaine. (I have to admit though, the letter from my mortgage lendor threatening foreclosure on my home loan was pretty sobering).

    My life changed in '89 when I met my current wife. When our relationship started getting serious, she told me that I could either have her or cocaine... not both. I chose her, and we have been married almost 13 years.

    Back to the original topic... I agree cocaine is one of those drugs that messes up the brain's pleasure centers. You gotta have more and more to achieve the same high, and more because even that doesn't work anymore. And hopefully jump off of the train before it crashes.
     
  9. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Good article and thanks for sharing :)
     

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