My essay is going to be on the causes and effects of cocaine, the most highly used drug in America. Cocaine is a drug derived from the coca plant, Erythroxylon coca, mostly grown in South America. Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant, the most powerful found in nature. It is most often found in the form of a white crystalline powder.

These are some nicknames of cocaine: Coke, snow (zas in Apache slang), C, flake, blow, and lady. "These are some facts of cocaine: 1-tenth of the population- over 22 million people have tried cocaine; Each day 5, 000 more people will experiment with it; It is a $35 billion illicit industry now exceeding Columbia's number one coffee export." - drug help. org Cocaine use can cause anxiety, irritability, aggressiveness, paranoia, feelings of bugs crawling under the skin, violence, confusion, apathy, concentration problems, also memory problems, nervousness, restlessness, seeing, hearing, and smelling things that are not there. Also in women, complications with pregnancy including: low birth weight, miscarriage, deformed babies, babies with brain damage and internal organ damage, and can even attribute to SIDS. Cocaine can also cause a disinterest in relationships with family and friends, panic attacks, delusions and hallucinations and for people with heart disease they can rupture a blood vessel, which can lead to death with a high dosage of coke. Cocaine is normally taken through inhalation, aka "snorting", it is done almost as a routine by pouring the coke onto a mirror / glass /cd case / anything that has a hard surface.

Next, it is chopped into "lines" and then snorted with a straw or a rolled up bill. Some users boil it and then smoke it, others dissolve thew powder in water and inject it into veins, thought this is less common than snorting. Cocaine affects the body in many ways; there are short-term effects and long-term effects. Short-term effects can be noticeable almost right after a single use. While long-term effects can appear at different times after an extended time of use all depending on the period of time and the amount of cocaine used. The short-term effects of cocaine will be noticed right after a single use, in which some cases of use can cause serious bodily damage and in some lead to death.

Cocaine related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest. In addition, some more short-term effects are: increased energy, loss of appetite, dilated pupils, mental alertness, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. When first time users take their first line, they feel a sudden rush of energy, which draws them in to do more, just for the feel of the rush, which in turn can lead to addiction. Some take this as a way of dieting, at first, but the more they take it the more they what it and get addicted. The long-term effect is when you are considered an addict. Cocaine is a very addicting drug, which can lead to enormous medical complications.

Some of these complications are: heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. Some physical symptoms are: convulsions, nausea, blurred vision, chest pain, fever, muscle spasms, and coma. Some other long-term effects are lying to family and friends about the usage of coke, lying to yourself about becoming addicted, stealing to support your habit, and not going to work.