Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Excess - it's just a little white powder.

I did quite a lot of research this week. There is a lot that I want to pass on.  Knowing some of it may save someone you love.  At the very least the information may make you better able to make an informed choice.

Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled, or injected into the veins. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils. High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes.

Cocaine is addictive due to its effect on the reward pathway in the brain. After a short period of use, there is a high risk that dependence will occur. Its use also increases the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, lung problems in those who smoke it, blood infections, and sudden cardiac death. Cocaine sold on the street is commonly mixed with local anaesthetics, corn-starch, quinine, or sugar which can result in additional toxicity. Following repeated doses a person may have decreased ability to feel pleasure and be very physically tired.

Cocaine acts by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This results in greater concentrations of these three neurotransmitters in the brain. It can easily cross the blood–brain barrier and may lead to the breakdown of the barrier. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant which are mostly grown in South America.

Concurrent Alcohol And Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is a profoundly addictive stimulant drug that produces euphoria, increased energy, and talkativeness. It is most often snorted or dissolved in water and injected into a vein. Due to the short duration of pleasurable effects, many users will binge on cocaine (repeatedly use the stimulant each time the effects begin to wear off). This pattern of binging leaves the user vulnerable to developing an addiction to cocaine. Many drug users combine alcohol and cocaine, for a number of different reasons: To decrease the feeling of drunkenness.  To intensify the cocaine high.  To ease the unwanted symptoms of coming down from cocaine.question 1

Cocaine might seem like a great partner to alcohol, but it actually can produce more than a few dangers to the user when combined with alcohol. It has been reported that the risk of sudden death is 20 times greater for use of cocaine and alcohol together than it is for cocaine alone (Kinney, 2009). Combining cocaine use with alcohol can cause death from overdose at cocaine levels which are only one tenth of those known to be fatal with cocaine alone (Perrine, 1996).

Alcohol and Cocaine: Key Facts
Here are a few alcohol and cocaine facts that you should know:
·    Because cocaine and alcohol are so dissimilar, no one can accurately predict the high or heightened state of drunkenness that a person will have when they mix these two.
·     Many cocaine users never use the drug unless they are drinking alcohol as well, which is very dangerous. Due to cocaine’s ability to blunt the perception of inebriation, its use can lead to excessive drinking and alcohol poisoning.
Concurrent alcohol and cocaine use can lead to an increase in violence.Alcohol And Cocaine Abuse question 2

Signs And Symptoms
Because so many cocaine users drink alcohol to excess as well, it is not difficult to pinpoint signs of concurrent alcohol and cocaine abuse. Here are a few indicators that you or someone you love has been engaged in alcohol and cocaine abuse:
Increased tendency towards violence. Many people arrested for violent crimes report having mixed alcohol and cocaine in the hours before their violent behaviour.
Increased incidence of risky sexual behaviour than there is with either drug alone (Kinney).
Irritability and anxiety.  Dilated pupils. Increased body temperature and heart rate.  Headaches.  Nausea.   Vomiting.
Abdominal pain and nausea. Decreased appetite. Chest pain. Palpitations. Stroke.  Seizures.  Confusion.  Coma.
Using cocaine can cause sudden death, whether someone has been a long-term user or only recently begun using it. It is unpredictable, and there is no safe way to use cocaine.
Long-Term Effects
If the use of cocaine along with alcohol continues long-term, it can have these effects:  Loss of sense of smell.   Nosebleeds. Chronically runny nose.  Perforated nasal septum.  HIV or hepatitis in intravenous users.  Malnutrition.  Problems swallowing.  Hoarseness.  Paranoia. Traumatic injuries due to violence. Legal problems to support abuse.Alcohol And Cocaine Abuse question 3

Combined Effects and the Production of Cocaethylene
Cocaine and alcohol combined do something that no other drug does with booze: they produce a new and life-threatening substance. Most users believe that cocaine can stretch out the good feeling that alcohol gives them. What they often don’t know is that cocaine and alcohol combined do something that no other drug does with booze: they produce a new and life-threatening substance.
That substance is called cocaethylene, which is produced by the liver in the presence of cocaine and alcohol. Cocaethylene is a metabolite which is much more toxic than cocaine alone (Julien et al., 2011). As indicated above, this combination can result in death much more quickly than in the presence of cocaine alone. In addition to the production of cocaethylene, some drinkers believe that they can imbibe over longer periods of time because they do not feel the effects of alcohol, as cocaine sharpens their senses. This can be deadly because a user will tend to drink more when unable to feel the consequences of doing so. Alcohol poisoning and subsequent death can easily result.

The increasing problem is reflected in the exponential increase in Cocaine deaths in the U.K over this decade: 2010 - 144, 2011 – 112, 2012 -139, 2013 -169, 2014 -247, 2015 - 350.  Make no mistake my friends, this is a huge problem among the young in our own communities.  I was recently told in the course of a conversation that a local plumber is asked regularly to clear small plastic bags, used to sell cocaine from the toilet drains in local public house. The landlord is aware that users and dealers frequent his establishment.  When asked why he does nothing about it, he stated quite casually that they are good customers.  It is better to pay to have the drains cleared that to stop people buying using and selling Class A drugs on his premises.  My father was a publican and would have stamped on any such problem immediately for fear of losing his Licence.  I am astounded by this revelation. This implies that this man has no social conscience: The majority of his customers are young people. Far more damning in my opinion, is that the law seems ineffectual, if this man is not afraid of the consequences.
Cocaine abuse is not a small problem.  It  is growing into a really big problem.  I wanted to draw your attention to this in case you have  a young adult in your family who may fall under the influence of 'the in crowd'. My own children are in their mid-twenties and they tell me that cocaine is everywhere. Many dealers are outwardly respectable people who peddle this highly addictive misery as a means of paying for flashy cars and softening the mortgage payments. Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
 
 
White out
They call me names like blast and blizzard,
Sometimes powder, sometimes snow,
with mountain highs and valley lows
snorted through a rolled up banknote,
straight into the brain. 
White Lady is another name,
the implication is I'm pure
or maybe cut with industrial cleaner,
both tingle and have numbing effects,
mind altering physicians. 
Up and up the user goes
and very soon comes down.
Addiction now is child's play,
gram by gram the money drains,
spiralling out of control.  
It’s just a dash of nose candy, 
A little bit of blow,
Or Charlie, coke or caviar.
It’s just a nosebleed, nothing’s wrong,
She just doesn't feel hungry lately.
Don’t turn away, Just listen,
Before they snap,
Before they smash,
Before delusion takes firm hold.  
Be bold. Tell them that you know. 
 
Happy New Year. Thanks for reading.  Adele 
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