Effects of cocaine on health

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Cocaine creates a strong physical addiction and is becoming recognized as one of the most dangerous illicit drugs abused today. The myth is that cocaine is harmless and nonaddictive.

An estimated 30 million Americans have used cocaine, but the may be as high as 40 million. Five to six million individuals are compulsive users. A review of the current literature revealed multiple reports of acute myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident with a temporal relation to cocaine use. Cocaine has also been associated with acute rupture of the aorta, cardiac arrhythmia, and sudden death. Cocaine has multisystem toxicity involving neurologic, psychiatric, obstetric, pulmonary, dermatologic, and gastrointestinal systems.

The dopamine depletion hypothesis may explain why cocaine is repeatedly administered; cocaine produces a transient increase in synaptic dopamine. Alterations in dopamine neurotransmission may be responsible for the development of compulsive use patterns. When cocaine use becomes compulsive, psychosocial dysfunction, deviant behaviors, and a wide spectrum of social, financial, and family problems invariably result.

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Addiction, major medical complications, and death are true hazards of cocaine use. Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy PDF file of the complete article 2. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

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These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. J Natl Med Assoc. Copyright and information Disclaimer. Copyright notice. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

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Effects of cocaine on health

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Adverse health consequences of cocaine abuse.