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Learn about how Cocaine efects the body

THE BRAIN
Euphoria and Depression
- early side effects include euphoria lasting 5-15 minutes. This 'high' is followed by a crushing 'low' (depression) that leaves the user craving more of the drug.

Brain Damage and Addiction
- Cocaine and 'crack' have an overwhelming effect on the 'pleasure centers' in the brain. The drugs interfere, alter, damage, and take control of specialized cells that regulate pleasure, well-being and mood. Regular use may shut off the brain's ability to ever be or feel 'normal' without cocaine. Long term use may cause permanent biological drug addiction.

THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
- increases blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and body temperature.
- suppresses desire for food, sex and sleep
- can cause strokes, brain seizures, respiratory failure, heart attack, convulsions and death.

THE LIVER
- Cocaine and crack can damage the liver's ability to detoxify blood, while reducing the production of critical enzymes needed for normal body functions.
- Hepatitus can be contracted and cause serious liver damage, or lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitus is highly contagious.

THE INTESTINES
- The blood supply is reduced to the intestines, resulting in nausea, diarrhea, painful cramps, inflammation and possible death.

THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM - Males and Females
- Regular use can result in loss of interest in sex, decreased sexual performancce, risk of impotence and infertility
- Cocaine and crack can cause miscarriages, developmental disorders and complications during birth
- Can result in premature separation of placenta from uterus leading to premature births or stillbirths
- Babies run a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Cocaine babies have higher risk of respiratory, kidney trouble, and genital malformation. Visual problems, lack of coordination and retardation are common
- Babies can suffer strokes and heart attacks

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY CHANGES
- Irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, excitable, 'hyper,' erratic, confused, depressed, non-stop babbling, sleeplessness, chronic fatigue, short tempers, bizarre behavior, agressiveness and violence, suicidal behavior, paranoia, delusions and hallucinations

THE EYES
- Dilation of pupils and blurred vision

THE THROAT
- Inhaling cocaine vapors causes hoarseness, coughing and constant sore throat

THE LUNGS
- Smoking cocaine damages lung cells' ability to process gases, leaving user with constant cough and shortness of breath. Use may result in respiratory failure -- the brain stops signalling muscles that control breathing, and they stop working.

THE HEART
- Constricts the heart's blood vessels, increasing blood pressure. This may trigger heart attack, heart failure, irregular heart beat and sudden death.

BLOOD VESSELS
- Cocaine and crack cause blood vessels to constrict, increasing blood pressure, and risk of heart attack and stroke
- Users sharing needles run high risk of infecting themselves with hepatitus or AIDS. Users may pass these diseases to their sexual partners, unborn babies or others.

THE BLADDER
- Increased need to urinate

BODY WEIGHT
- Loss of appetite can be so severe that it leads to dramatic weight loss and malnutrition.