Reflections - Definition of Addiction Types
Cocaine is a type of drug that functions to increase the availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is associated with the generation of 'euphoric' emotions, the regulation of movement, and the processing of reward cues. However, it is also associated with a considerable potential for dependence and abuse.
Cocaine is attractive as a recreational substance due to the perceived positive effects on mood, motivation and energy. Someone abusing cocaine may smoke, snort, or take it intravenously (via injection).
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One of the most serious effects of cocaine abuse is heart muscle damage. Cocaine may cause damage by inducing cell death in the muscles of the heart (cardiomyopathy). Intravenous cocaine use can lead to inflammation of the inner tissues of the organ (endocarditis).
These cellular effects of cocaine cumulate into serious conditions such as heart attacks and cardiac arrhythmias, which may be fatal.
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