I’ve never taken any kind of recreational drugs. I was too scared! I regret missing out on the fun but not missing out on the hazards. I’ve had a few friends I knew took cocaine from time to time.
I have noticed that cocaine users will sometimes go down suddenly with a cerebral hemorrhage. A friend in Spain died of a stroke not long after I left there and he was probably the heaviest user.
Although I have no figures for it, I believe cocaine sets you up for a sudden “blow out” of this sort. I even speculated that Jean-Do Bauby’s celebrated catastrophe was because it was likely he was taking cocaine (he was a fashion editor, after all!)
What is now a scientific fact is that cocaine ages the brain FAST. In fact it almost doubles the rate of steady loss of brain tissue that we all experience.
British researchers at the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at University of Cambridge scanned the brains of 60 people with cocaine dependence and 60 people with no history of substance abuse, and found that those with cocaine dependence had twice the levels of age-related loss of brain gray matter (3.08 milliliters (ml) of brain volume a year, compared to the normal 1.69 ml per year average seen in the healthy people.
The most decline took place in the prefrontal and temporal cortex: regions associated with attention, decision-making, self-regulation and memory.
It’s true, if you do meet a real cocaine user, that they seem elderly beyond their years.
Don’t ever be tempted. And if you are a user, stop NOW, I don’t allow my subscribers to die young!
[SOURCE: April 25, 2012, issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry.