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Cocaine

The powerful addictive drug known as cocaine has been around since the time of Native American Empire of the Incas. The Incas chewed coca leaves to obtain mild euphoria, stimulation and alertness. The Incas also brewed coca leaves to form tea which contained significant amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins B2, A and E.
During the 1800's physicians in the U.S.A. prescribed cocaine for depressions exhauster, muscle pain, asthma, and stomachaches or ulcers. Cocaine was especially effective in surgical procedures to shrink blood vessels, which then limited bleeding. Cocaine was also used as local anesthetic in minor surgeries. The name cocaine obviously comes from the plant coca from which it is obtained. A variety of names are used on streets to refer to this drug. Many of these names include: snow, French fries, nose candy, and for crack another form of cocaine, the most common street name is "rock". This addictive drug can do very harmful damage to the brain if used frequently. The ventral tangential area other wise known as VTA is located deep in the brain. The VTA extends to the region of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens; this is a pleasure center of the brain. When cocaine is used increased activity takes place in the nucleus accembens. The normal communication process dopamine is released by a neuron into the synapse. There it can bind with dopamine receptors on neighboring neurons. In a normal cycle dopamine is recycled back into the transmitting neuron by specialized protein which is reffered to dopamine transporter. In the present of cocaine, it causes attack to the dopamine transporter. It also blocks the normal recycling process resulting in build up of dopamine in the synapse which contributes to the pleasurable effects of cocaine. Cocaine is a strong central nervous stimulator but also affects other parts of the body. Cocaine use can constrict peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils and…

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