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BIOL 1F25 - Lec 11 & 12

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Nicholas D Vesprini

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Lecture 11 & 12 Cocaine -derived from coca bush; grown in Peru, Bolivia, Columbia; Peru: world’s leading producer of leaf; Columbia: world’s leading processor CNS stimulant -regulated as a narcotic but not a narcotic; stimulates release of brain chemicals that play a role in mental alertness and excitation -one of the most powerful pharmacological reinforcers known; once experienced tendency to reuse is nearly irresistible -causes: exhilaration and euphoria; heightened alertness; greater capability for work; less fatigue; less need for food and sleep; “perfect illusion” drug/ego food Exists in 2 main forms: 1. Hydrochloride salt: >white powder >water soluble >sniffed or taken intravenously -street dealers often dilute with inert but similar looking substances (i.e. cornstarch) 2. Freebase form >crack cocaine Trafficking of cocaine -into US mainly from Columbia; 70% of world consumption in the US -primary ports include Arizona, Southern California, Florida, and Texas -smuggled by air, land, sea and person -most Americans handle cocaine everyday; cocaine HCI binds closely to ink in paper on dollar bills Crack cocaine -emerged in 1980s; Miami, LA, Houston, and San Diego -cocaine powder that is chemically altered into crystals -when heated makes crackling sound; warmed to a vapour and inhaled smoking -goes directly into bloodstream and brain in concentrated form -one of few street drugs that can cause serious medical problems even in first time users Physiological Effects: -vasoconstriction (constricts blood vessels) -increase in blood pressure -increase in heart rate -increase in respiration -dilates pupils of eye Health Risks -convulsions and respiratory failure -cardiovascular collapse -liver damage -hallucinations -violent behavior -irritability -weight loss and poor nutrition -post use depression and para
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