The number of deaths linked to drug use in the world is increasing, as well as the number of consumers and people with serious drug problems.
According to data from this year’s UN World Drug Report, in 2017 5.5% of the population used drugs, and cocaine production stood at a historic record with 1,976 tons, 25% more than the year previous.
While production numbers are increasing, the brains of millions of inhabitants of the planet are breaking down at precipitous rates. Cocaine, among many other factors, can lead to direct death due to a degeneration of the ‘white matter’ of the brain.
Narcotic consumption sometimes induces leukoencephalopathy, which involves progressive damage or inflammation of the white matter of the brain.
It is not a very common disorder, but the effect is very dangerous and almost always fatal.
Leukoencephalopathy can occur in different ways: an altered level of consciousness, confusion, language and impaired vision, fever or spasticity accompanied by the acute degeneration of white matter in the brain.
According to a study published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, a 45-year-old man showed up in the emergency room of a hospital in Malta with confusion and unusual behavior.
“He could not perform simple tasks and did not follow orders. It moved all four limbs in a strange movement”, explains Dr. Abdilla in the BMJ report.
The patient, addicted to cocaine, worsened hours later, until he entered the catatonic state. Although blood tests were normal, an MRI revealed that parts of the white matter in his brain had been “eaten.”
White matter is that part of the nervous system responsible for the correct transmission of brain information. It can be considered that it coordinates the communication between the different systems of the human body, both inside and outside the brain.
In the white matter, the axons of the neurons predominate, which means that these areas of the brain that are white, in essence, are neuronal highways, areas of communication between parts of the brain.
However, not all the consequences of cocaine use leads to this chilling outcome. There are other effects, perhaps more usual, produced by the use of this narcotic.
Cocaine stimulates the nervous system, causing brief feelings of euphoria, increased subject vivacity, loquacity and a feeling of power.
Victims of consumption can also be sweaty, restless and dizzy, as well as having nausea and vomiting.
Later on, cocaine users experience more acute effects. Increased heart rate and blood pressure can lead to abnormal rhythm and fatal attacks, even in young and healthy people. Also, excessive consumption can cause seizures and strokes.
Physiologically we can also find liver, kidney, respiratory, dermatological, neurological consequences, such as leukoencephalopathy or cerebral hemorrhage, as well as nasal ulcers, nasal septum perforation or sinusitis.
Most common mental effects
Cocaine consumers feel distrust, suspicion, excitement, jealousy, obvious irritability and aggressiveness, anxiety, restlessness, muscular tension, learning, intelligence and personality problems, as well as family and economic problems.
As in everything, there is always a scientific part that gives concrete explanations about a disease and predicts the consequences of it. But have you ever heard a victim?
Do you know what is the relationship a regular consumer of cocaine has with the narcotic? To try to help a patient, sometimes you just need to listen to him and try to understand why he has filled that void of his life with an artificial material that only produces limited happiness.
Amphetamines, popularly known as speed, have a stimulating effect on the nervous system, increases physical resistance and decreases the feeling of hunger and sleep.
Some users of speed explain that they use it because one day someone offered them and they felt pressured to try them. Users share one or two characteristics: They either have had a difficult childhood and / or have grown up in an unstructured family.
Use of speed usually comes after having tried other drugs, which people continue to take for pleasure, from time to time. Starting with alcohol.
People usually move to using ecstasy and synthetic mixtures, but without really knowing what it was that was going to happen.
Users of speed sometimes equal their use of it as a relationship of romantic love. A love of very intense emotions. It’s like being tied to gold chains. The brightness of gold blinds you and does not let you see that, even if they are gold, they are still chains.
Even knowing the negative consequences of using speed does not prompt drug users to leave it. The drug has destroyed your brain, memory, principles and goals, it leaves people with hollow brains; literally hollow.