The use of cocaine and alcohol are the most common combination of two drugs that result in death. Recent research suggests that alcohol and cocaine used together produce a unique compound (cocaethylene) that is far more potent, long lasting and toxic than either alcohol or cocaine alone. Cocaine principally functions within the pleasure centers of the brain and acts somewhat similar to the prescription antidepressants on the market, however, selective to dopamine vs. serotonin. Cocaine prohibits the reuptake of dopamine; much like Prozac and other SRI’s (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) inhibit the reuptake of serotonin in the connective region between nerve cells called the synapse. The beneficial effects of cocaine are rapid and powerful. Users of cocaine commonly report feelings of euphoria, intensified pleasure of ordinary activities and heightened sensitivity and attraction to ordinarily pleasurable activities such as sex. In general, cocaine users experience a feeling that is perceived as “better” than the feeling that a user is capable of without the influence of the drug. Such immediately positive effects and gradual short term side effects speak to the intense attraction users hold for cocaine. Tolerance builds quickly and the user is required to dramatically increase the quantity of cocaine required to produce the same effects. Long term cocaine use is terminal and creates an urgency for a cocaine intervention for those addicted.
Abuse of cocaine specifically means the self-inflicted maltreatment, injury, or damage to ones person with cocaine. This includes the physical body of the cocaine or crack addict and the social and/or financial harm that will affect this same “natural person” within society. It includes the family, friends, coworkers and congregation members who are likely victims and/or enablers of the addict’s abusive behavior.