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Cocaine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   What is cocaine? It's white andlooks like baby powder or powdered sugar. It may be sniffed through the nose orinjected into the bloodstream. Another form, crack cocaine, is smoked. Cocaine isa stimulant, meaning it speeds up the way the brain and body operate. It alsomakes the heart and lungs work faster. Cocaine produces a strong sense ofpleasure and users say it makes them feel more energetic. This feeling is calledeuphoria.

The effects of cocaine last between five and 40 minutes, butwhen the euphoria wears off, users feel terrible, becoming nervous, irritable,confused, angry and tired, called a cocaine crash. As a result, users want totake more and more to stay high, and avoid crashing.

You're probablyasking yourself what my point is. Well, even if you think cocaine use does notaffect you, there is a good chance it affects someone you know or love. Cocaineis a big problem for many, whether they're crack babies born addicted because oftheir mother's use, teens or adults.

I am writing this is because I knowfirsthand what it was like to be around a crackhead. Before she started using,she was a healthy, sweet and innocent girl just out for a good time. After tryingit at a party, though, she was hooked. That one time got her going. She starteddoing it every few days, saying it made her feel carefree and totally cut herappetite, which she thought was awesome.

Within weeks I could see adrastic change in her behavior toward everyone. Suddenly she needed a gram here,a gram there, and pretty soon she was out of money and had to slow down. She toldme she had stopped using, but I knew that was a lie.

She began tosteal from her parents, who didn't even notice because half the time they wereaway on business trips. About six months later and 20 pounds lighter, she beganto get violent, and was pale, sickly, drowsy and unfriendly to those who werestill her friends. (She had pushed most away.) I did what I could to help her,but it was too late.

Before I knew it she was out cold and nearly deadwhen an ambulance picked her up at her parents' mansion on the waterfront. Twodays later she was pronounced dead.

I will never forgive myself for whathappened to her. Each day I have to live with the fact that I could have savedher life if only I had made the right decision to tell someone - her parents, ateacher or a doctor.

I have seen what drugs do to people, and no matterhow good it feels when you're using, it is 10 times worse when you're crashing.Drugs kill, injure and ruin lives every day. They have already injured my lifeand my heart, and I am not even a user.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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practicerandomkindness said...
Jul. 2, 2009 at 3:02 am:
I, too, know those who have done drugs. my baby cousin was adopted by my grandparents because his mom did drugs, and he nearly died when he lived with his parents.
 
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