Throughout history human beings have been fascinated with chemicals and substances that alter the body's mental and physical states. Activities such as the chewing khat and smoking opium poppies have been exercised for hundreds of years in different cultures across the globe. Nevertheless, while humans have been known for consuming substances for recreational purposes, one can assume that each culture has had to deal with individuals who for some reason are unable to control their substance use. Until recently, little was known about the properties of addiction and as a result this type of abusive behavior was often attributed to a weakness in character or was thought to be the manifestation of negative supernatural forces. Only recently has science been able to provide a more intricate understanding of the physiological effects that drugs trigger within the body. In modern society, one drug that is very well known for recreational use is cocaine. This powdered substance is derived from coca leaves and it has become extremely popular both with recreational drug uses and the scientific community. Decades of misinterpretation allowed cocaine to assert itself as a popular drug for many generations, from the late 1800's straight through to modern times (Gawin: 1991). Several research studies have demonstrated that cocaine is a unique drug in terms of its addictive properties and the physiological effects which it produces in across several species.
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[...] What they found what that only 17% of the rats pursued cocaine infusions throughout all three of the tests (Belin et al: 2004). While there is little likelihood that humans will receive nose pokes or electric shocks during/after their cocaine infusions, negative consequences manifest themselves in other forms. These results are very interesting as it is similar to the average addiction rate for humans exposed to cocaine infusions. While cocaine addiction stems from recreational use, it quickly manifests itself as a focal point within the life of an addicted individual. [...]
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[...] While cocaine binds to all three of these neurotransmitters, it is believed that it is the activity at the DA transmitters that are most central to the reinforcing properties of cocaine (Kalivas & White: 1998). Cocaine affects DA transmission by binding to DA reuptake cells which results in increased levels of dopamine in the synaptic cleft. Since the dopamine cannot be reabsorbed, its concentration continues to grow, producing levels of euphoria in the user (Kalivas & White: 1998). One interesting study examined how dopamine affected hyperactivity by breeding mice that lacked DA transmitters as a result of genetic targeting. [...]
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