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How Does Cocaine Produce Its Effects?

It is known that cocaine is a highly addictive substance. Scientists have been doing their research to find out why cocaine is too much addictive and gives a pleasant feeling to the user. They have discovered the region in brain affects all types of stimuli such as food, sex, happiness, etc.

The neural system which is highly affected by the use of the cocaine is the midbrain called “ventral tegmental area” (VTA). This is the region in brain that involves in rewarding. Here rewarding means pleasant feeling when cocaine is administered. It has been noted that rewards increase the level of brain chemical in nucleus.

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The normal process of communication in brain is the release of dopamine Definition of the word dopamine by the neurons. These are recycled back in the transmitting neurons by specialized protein known as a dopamine transporter. When cocaine is there in the system, it interferes with “dopamine” transporter and can block normal recycle process, which increases the level of dopamine in brain and thus the pleasure effect is increased. The buildup of the dopamine is the cause of stimulation to receive the neurons continuous, and probably result in euphoria. This is generally reported by the cocaine abusers.

The continuous use of cocaine increases the tolerance level. Thus, the person requires frequent use and increases level of dosage to get same pleasure level feeling experience during the initial use. During the period when the person stays away from cocaine, memory of euphoria, which is associated with using cocaine, can cause tremendous craving as well as relapses.

The effect of cocaine depends on the way it is administered into the body. The sooner the drug is absorbed into the body higher the effect. However, duration of its effect is shorter. If the drug is administered through snorting, the effect is relatively slower but the duration is longer.


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Marcel Gemme

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

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