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Custom Effects of Cocaine Use essay paper sample

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Cocaine is a “crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant” (Maisto 2010: 56). Cocaine is not only a potent stimulant of the nervous system, but also a suppressant of appetite. Besides, it has the ability to cause anesthetic effects on the users. The most common forms of cocaine include, salt cocaine, basic cocaine, and crack cocaine. Cocaine is an illegal drug in the US, and other countries in the world. This means that its commercial production is not allowed. However, it is usually produced under controlled situations for medicinal purposes. The use of cocaine is associated with serious health conditions such as heart attack. Its use is also associated with the rise in crime in various parts of America. Today, there are over 2 million users of cocaine in US. This paper focuses on the effects of the use of cocaine in various cities of America.

Effects of Cocaine Use

Crime

            Empirical studies on the causes of crime in US’s major cities have found that the use of cocaine has a strong correlation with the increase in crime. This means that the use of cocaine leads to significant increase in cases of crime. Most users of cocaine live in the ghettos of American cities. In such areas, poverty, unemployment, and low standards of living are prevalent. Consequently, cocaine users living in the ghettos have very low purchasing power. Since cocaine is very addictive, the users usually resort to crime in order to access it, if they lack the money to purchase it (Brady 2009). This involves stealing or robbing others in order to obtain the money for purchasing cocaine. Since cocaine is illegal, those who sell it have had to murder their colleagues and security officers in order to escape arrest.

The use of cocaine has led to an increase in the number of illegal guns in American cities. Most of those who sell or use cocaine prefer to arm themselves with guns for self defense. However, due to their criminal records, most cocaine users or sellers can only acquire guns through illegitimate means (Brady 2009). However, such guns are often misused, and sometimes lead to the death of innocent people. As a powerful stimulant, consistent use of cocaine can prompt an individual to engage in violent crime such as street fighting. The use of cocaine has also contributed to the increase in economic crimes such as bribing and corruption (Siegel 2011). There have been cases whereby, the sellers of cocaine bribe security officers to cover-up their illegal acts.    

Health Effects

            Consumption of cocaine is associated with serious health conditions. Such health conditions include the following. To begin with, cocaine has a powerful influence on the central nervous system. The user normally experience euphoria, increased energy or motor activity, feelings of competence, as well as, sexuality (Koob 2007). It is this kind of stimulation that prompts cocaine users to engage in acts of violence. However, overconsumption of cocaine leads to anxiety and paranoia. In some cases, the user becomes restless. Some users of cocaine normally experience very high temperatures, convulsion, and tremors.

            Apart from affecting the nervous system, the use of cocaine causes diseases such as asthma, lung trauma, shortness of breath, and sore throat (Koob 2007). These respiratory diseases are common among those who smoke cocaine. Excess inhalation of cocaine is also a major cause of heart attack. Sever health conditions such as heart attack, and respiratory diseases are responsible for the rise in death cases among cocaine users. Such deaths have both social and psychological effects on friends and relatives of the deceased. Friends and relatives may experience extreme grief due the loss of one of their own. In some cases, the deceased relatives develop conditions such as depression which can lead to their death.  

Deterioration of Moral Standards

            The use of crack cocaine is common among prostitutes or commercial sex workers. This is based on the fact that crack cocaine has the ability to increase the user’s urge for sex. Consequently, commercial sex workers usually use crack cocaine in order to maximize their profits by working for longer hours (Koob 2007). However, the use of crack cocaine among commercial sex workers has always been counter productive. This is because cocaine is so addictive that the prostitutes end up spending all their earnings on it. Young ladies who get introduced to the use of cocaine have had to become commercial sex workers with the aim of either satisfying their sexual needs or earning money to purchase more cocaine. Empirical studies indicate that prostitutes who use crack cocaine have high chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

            Parents who use cocaine in any of its forms serve as a bad example to their children. Such parents expose their children to the use of cocaine by keeping the drug in their houses. Consequently, their children can access, and begin to use cocaine in their early years (Sussman 2011). Like any other drug, cocaine contributes, significantly, to the development of the subculture of crime. Cocaine users are normally condemned, and isolated by the rest of the society. Thus, cocaine users, especially the youth, tend to congregate, and develop norms which are unique to their lot. Such norms are meant to help them to retaliate for being isolated by the society. The crime subculture not only reinforces the use of cocaine, but also leads to the use of other drugs such as alcohol and marijuana.   

Social Costs

            The use of cocaine in American cities has cost taxpayers billions of dollars in the last three decades. Huge financial resources have been spent by the federal government, state governments, and local councils to curb the use of cocaine. In the 1980s, the use of crack cocaine was rampant in most US cities. However, massive investments in security protocols, and anti-cocaine use led to a reduction in its use (Sussman 2011). The success in reducing consumption of crack cocaine, however, was achieved at the expense of other development projects. The financial resources could have been used to provide social services such as education if cocaine use was not prevalent.

            The quality of life has reduced among cocaine using communities as they spend large amounts of money to treat diseases caused by cocaine. Rehabilitating cocaine users has not only strained the national budget in the last three decades, but has also strained the health facilities in most cities. Cocaine has also led to loss of productivity among its users due to the health effects associated with it (Sussman 2011). Employers have had to spend their limited resources to treat cocaine using employees whose productivity is also low. Finally, cocaine is sold in the black market since it is illegal. Consequently, the government has lost millions of dollars, in terms of tax revenue, in the last three decades since illegal cocaine transactions are not recorded.

Conclusion

            Cocaine is an illegal drug in the US, and other parts of the world. Its consumption is associated with serious health and social effects. The use of cocaine exposes the user to the risk of contracting various respiratory diseases, and health conditions such as heart attack (Brady 2009). Socially, the use of cocaine has contributed to the rise in cases of crime, low quality of life, and deterioration of moral standards. The government has spent large amounts of money to control the use of cocaine in the US over the last three decades (Brady 2009). However, the use of cocaine is still very common in various cities of America.

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