The Pleasure Principal:
Cocaine And The Neurotransmitter Dopamine
Cynthia A. Brown

What's Your Pleasure?

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What is Crack Cocaine?

In todays society there are many pressures that teenagers and young adults must learn to handle. People choose different methods. Cocaine experimentation is one avenue some choose. As a teacher of young people I find this drug of choice appears to attract both male and female, people of all ages, races, nationalities and ethenic beliefs. Some involve themselves for profit, others for recreation. The use of this illegal substance when addicted is the same. The brain and the functions of the brain are affected.

Individuals may seek the approval of their peers, stress or rebel against authority. The cocaine use depletes the "feel good" chemical the brain uses to function normally. When the "high" wears off the body needs more and more of the drug to feel normal. People who become addicted to cocaine start to lose interest in other areas of their life.

Cocaine withdrawal causes a biochemical abstinence - syndrome which leads to craving and ahedonia. The neuron release of dopamine drops. So does the number of dopamine transporters. Cocaine dependence causes long- lasting functional deficits in the frontal cortex.

I-function is an extension of the DNA genes. Neurotransmitters affect the overall well being in an individual. Some neurotransmitters cause anger, while others cause irritability,and some pleasure. Our sense of "well being" is determined by the set point or the concept that really good fortune or disaster will not leave particular individuals with a feeling of doom. A person will remain close to the same happiness level. Some research reports that certain people need higher levels of dopamine levels in order to fell as good as others feel naturally.

Dopamine is released in synaptic gaps of neurons. This neurotransmitter turns on the synaptic membranes in the central nervous system. Cocaine addiction involves a complex mixture of genetics and environment. The heavy cocaine users brain has a sluggish blood flow. The action may be the cause of loss of memory, attention deficits or stroke. The blood vessels constrict as the drug is being utilized. This can lead to brain damage. This practice and the further abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or heroin, and marijauna contribute to the damage to the brain.

Neurotransmitters are chemical messangers. Dopamine is one of the major transmitters activated by the use of recreational drugs in addictive cases.

Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response and the ability to experience pleasure and pain.

Young people should be aware of the risks associated with recreational cocaine use. Cocaine can stop the messages from the brain that control the heart and lungs- the very messages that keep us alive. You don't have to be an addict to be hurt by drugs. Growing up in a world where psychactive drugs are everywhere, some are legal, and some are drugs that can help them to lead a better life.

How can a young person make sense of the rapant drug use? They need to be informed about drugs so they can : .know what they are .how they work

Psychoactive drugs, like cocaine can turn the brain against itself. They trap people in dangerous drug habits. The brain gives us the ability to chose what kinf of decisions we make. We choose what kind of life we wish to lead. Choose to make "less wrong" mistakes. Choose to say "no" to drugs. Say "no" to cocaine.

Say "YES" to a healthy, happy life!!!!!!

WWW Sources

Ask Jeeves Answer:Cocaine and Crack:Just the Facts

Ask Jeeves Answer :NCAD: Tips for Teens:Cocaine