Cocaine is too dangerous

Students need to know there is no “safe” way to use cocaine.

Cocaine is one of the oldest drugs known to humankind. Not since the 1980s has it received so much attention. Supermodel Kate Moss recently admitted to having a cocaine problem. Many of the news organizations that reported the “Moss scandal” followed up with reports that educated the public on how dangerous cocaine can be. This is especially useful and relevant to many University students since adults aged 18 to 25 have the highest rate of cocaine use.

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system by blocking the re-absorption of dopamine. This continuous buildup causes the euphoria reported by cocaine users. The euphoria alone, however, is not the only reason many turn to the drug. For some, especially University students, who are in “pressure-cooker” environments, the decreased need for sleep and food with the concurrent increase of mental alertness are reason enough to take the drug. Nevertheless, students need to know that these minor “benefits” in no way outweigh the risks of abusing cocaine.

According to the University’s 2004 CORE alcohol and drug survey, 4.5 percent of University students have tried cocaine at least once in the previous 12 months. This statistic is disturbing when considering many users become addicted after their first trial and spend the rest of their addiction taking larger doses in an effort to reach the same “high” they experienced their first time.

Regardless of the frequency of use, cocaine users can experience heart attack, respiratory failure, stroke, seizure, bizarre and violent behavior, and sudden death. The risk of sudden death is greatly increased when cocaine is combined with alcohol because of the chemical cocaethylene that the liver produces when the two are mixed.

Cocaine is too risky to try even once. For those who are or know someone who is experiencing problems with cocaine, contact Boynton Health Service to find a chemical health counselor.