Most people think the drug of choice for athletes is steroids, but cocaine has become an option for people who want to enhance their performance. Cocaine can give athletes a burst of energy needed to get through a game or competition. However, the effect does not last long.
That leads us to question whether it can be used to enhance performance. Can it? Let's talk about it.
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Cocaine as a Performance Enhancer
Cocaine is one of the most powerful and addictive stimulants. It floods the brain with chemical dopamine. Its physical effects are on the central nervous system, which can make a person feel more alert and have higher energy. It also increases body temperature and raises the heart rate.
The drug works within minutes, so athletes may take it right before a game or competition in order to get a physical rush and an adrenaline boost. But, as mentioned, the effect doesn’t last very long. It can range from 15-30 minutes if it is snorted, and if it is smoked it may only last 5-10 minutes. It causes a feeling of euphoria, clarity, decreased fatigue and alertness. It can make a person more talkative and have less social anxiety.
History has shown that in Central and South American cultures as far back as 1500 AD, coca, the plant from which cocaine is derived, was used in different ways. The leaf of the plant could be chewed, giving people on long journeys the energy to travel far on foot. It was also used to treat pain and respiratory problems at high altitudes. Of course, the cocaine of the modern era is a different substance altogether that causes more harm to the body than good.
Cocaine use is bad for anyone, but when people who participate in heavy physical activity use cocaine, the effects on the body can be accelerated. The body’s temperature can be affected when someone uses cocaine regularly. The body can normally adjust naturally to changes in temperature due to activity, but use of cocaine can throw off that ability. Athletes may train and play in hot weather, and when the body isn’t able to regulate its temperature it can cause physical damage.
It also causes damage to the heart and how it functions. An athlete trains more often than a regular person, which can enhance the negative effects of the drug. It can increase the chance of arrhythmia, which can lead to cardiac arrest. If you need help with a cocaine addiction, call Legacy Freedom and ask about our drug and alcohol rehab in Raleigh NC.
When taken in high doses or for a long period of time, it can also cause other health problems such as tremors, stroke, seizures, high blood pressure, vision problems, and tears to the nasal tissue.
There have been many famous athletes suspended from their teams because of cocaine use, including baseball players Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, tennis player Martine Hinges and football player Lawrence Taylor. In the 1980s when cocaine use was at a high there were two notable young people who died because of cocaine use.
Basketball player Len Bias and football player Don Rogers were in their early 20s when they died because of heart issues due to cocaine use. Both were just beginning careers that could have been great, but that potential was wasted when they chose to try cocaine.
Cocaine addiction can also cause a person to have behavioral changes such as anxiety, increased anger and paranoia. This can lead to increased violence, which can cause problems for athletes in physical sports such as football, mixed martial arts or boxing.
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Some athletes use cocaine to lose weight because it suppresses the appetite. There was a study that concluded that it can also lower fat intake even if users still eat fatty foods. The drug appears to interfere with the metabolic process, creating an imbalance in fat storage.
In sports like mixed martial arts, there has been an increase in cocaine abuse because fighters generally need to be at a certain weight before a fight. Cocaine use can change the way the body processes and stores fat, making people who stop using the drug after habitual use gain a significant amount of weight back.
Cocaine is also known as a recreational drug, which may be why athletes try it in the first place. Some that achieve fame and have a lot of money may dabble in drugs when they are not training or playing. Even if they don’t use them while they are involved in sports, the damage it does to the body can still have an effect on their performance and their health.
If an athlete uses cocaine to gain a competitive edge, he or she is actually doing the opposite. During those moments right after cocaine is used, a person may feel he or she is at a peak, but it will not last. With long term, continued use the drug will wreak havoc on the body, which will decease performance. Cocaine does not improve performance and should not be used by athletes to get a competitive edge.
Dependable Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Raleigh NC for 2017
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