My interactions with some cocaine addicts and it’s effect on their lives. - Zongo Link Multimedia

My interactions with some cocaine addicts and it’s effect on their lives.

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Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.

Drug addiction isn’t about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances.

At first, you may choose to take a drug because you like the way it makes you feel. You may think you can control how much and how often you use it. But over time, drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose self-control and can lead you to damaging behaviors.

Your brain is wired to make you want to repeat experiences that make you feel good. So you’re motivated to do them again and again.

The drugs that may be addictive target your brain’s reward system. They flood your brain with a chemical called dopamine. This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure. So you keep taking the drug to chase that high.

Over time, your brain gets used to the extra dopamine. So you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling. And other things you enjoyed, like food and hanging out with family, may give you less pleasure. In this article we are going to talk about Cocaine addiction and its effects on users.

Cocaine is a highly addictive and a naturally occurring anesthetic, or pain blocker.

It is extracted from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca (E. coca), also known as the coca scrub, a plant that grows in the Andean highlands of South America.

It is the most powerful stimulant of natural origin. When Coca-Cola was first produced, it contained 9 milligrams of cocaine per glass. In 1903, this ingredient was removed, but the drink still has coca flavoring.

In 1884, Karl Koller, an Austrian ophthalmologist, first used cocaine as an anesthetic during eye surgery. It was a popular and widely used anesthetic until the early 20th century.

As the medical profession came to realize that cocaine was addictive, safer anesthetics were developed. Cocaine, in its basic form, is no longer routinely used.

However, cocaine and its derivative, crack cocaine, are widely used as illegal recreational drugs. Cocaine can be smoked, injected, or snorted..

 Cocaine addiction is common in Accra Ghana and usually found around the inner cities of the capital. Ghana has been ranked the third cocaine transit destination in Africa behind Nigeria and South Africa respectively.

According to the 2016 World Drug Report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the illegal shipment of cocaine comes from South America en route to Europe and Brazil.

The report again named Ghana as among the top four countries in Africa reported as the source of cannabis herb to Europe.

Accra Newtown located in the heart of the capital is one of the places cocaine addicts are commonly found. Cocaine business in this part of the country is usually common and considered as part of our daily routine

NB: The Writer is also from this part of the city hence risking his relationship with others in stating the true facts and keeping them honest.

I sat with some of the addicts and they shared their stories with me although it doesn’t come for free because to most of them time is money hence it should be used wisely.

Deborah( Katrina Dominic Daniels) alumni of Enugu State University of Science and Technology majored in Applied micro-Biology and Brewery. A native of Nigeria from the Ibo Tribe. During her school days she was deeply into alcohol and the only thing that brings happiness to her life. As a former lesbian she only moves with female friends and her (Boy/Girl) Friend. At a party organized by one of her mates she was so drunk hence misbehaving. She came across a group of friends using lighter and smoking (according to her a white powder) So she avail herself to be part of the group. But her lesbian partner objected and they engaged in a heated argument. She was so drunk she had to tell her partner to leave her alone and she was old enough to make her own decisions. Her partner left in anger and warned her never to come close to her.

Deborah joined the group and was introduced to the usage of cocaine. I asked her how she felt when she first snorted the cocaine. She smiled and said it was the best feeling ever and for a moment thought she was wasting her time drinking only alcohol. She was so high that evening she couldn’t return to her hostel.

Deborah became conscious in the morning with guilt and regrets she partly asked what really happened.

Everyone was reluctant in answering her so she left to her hostel. Her lesbian partner was furious and waited for her at the hostel. When she entered the room her girlfriend slapped and said she was very disappointed at her behavior last night.

She didn’t want anything to happen between them so she pleaded and said she wasn’t in her right senses.

Do you know what you took last night? Only then she realized she had snorted cocaine. Cocaine! Deborah shouted, I didn’t know it was cocaine oh my God how did I get myself into this she fumed.

Henceforth you will listen to me and you will do as I say the partner ordered. Ok dear I will always do as you say my love, forgive me.

Because she abused the cocaine just moments after she had taken her bath she started trembling and didn’t know she needed more of the cocaine. She was rushed to the hospital and everything was under control but little did she know it was just momentarily.

The same thing happened the following morning and reality dawns on her, Deborah is turning into an addict. She called one of the guys at the party and she was asked to meet them at a joint. She went,had a good time and she was back on track again.

Deborah didn’t like her new lifestyle so she decided to distance herself from her friends so she left Enugu and relocated to Lagos. Although she was suffering from not taking the cocaine she managed the pain and distanced herself.

She told her father she wanted to go to Ghana to further her education and the arrangements were made and she came to Ghana. Ghana was supposed to be a new haven and a new beginning for Deborah thus keeping away from bad friends and reshaping her life.

Her first residence in Ghana was the Ramada Beach Resort in Teshie,Nungua a suburb of Accra. After some few weeks of boredom and loneliness she came out and started making enquiries on where she can get cocaine. According to her everyone neglected her because as beautiful as she was they thought she was a spy until according to her she saw a “Good Samaritan.”

So who is this “Good Samaritan”?

A Good Samaritan here means someone who knew what her problems were and willing to help her get a cocaine hub.The first thing he asked was if she had enough money and she answered in the affirmative.

They stopped a taxi and she heard him saying let’s go to Accra Newtown. Her first point of call was (Name withheld) leading her to total destruction. She called it heaven on earth after injecting Ghana’s Cocaine she said it was the best thing ever. After discovering what Newtown has she decided to relocate to Accra Newtown permanently.

So I asked Deborah how much she spent on food and cocaine.

She answered: The former was never part of my daily plans and whenever I am hungry I just get any assorted drink and I’m good to go. And I spend all my earnings on the latter because that’s my life.

That’s what makes me happy and I’d sacrifice anything just to get it. I spend an average of 150 to 200 cedis when I first came to Ghana because I had a lot on me when I came here. But things have changed now and I hardly get the chance to talk to Daddy and demand for any cash. Asked if her dad knew she was into drugs and she said No! A big No, She added. But why isn’t he answering your calls. She sighed and I still don’t have the answer to my question.

Deborah had given birth to a lovely baby boy when I met her. So who is the child’s father. She laughed and said it’s one guy who took advantage of her situation whiles she was living with him because she had no place to live. As usual he denied it and the boy is with the Social Welfare.

I asked her if she wanted rehab because the drug is destroying her life and she said she’d love to.

Having read to this point I know you will be asking yourself what Deborah does for a living? Your guess is as good as mine: This is just one story from the numerous stories of cocaine addiction we are living with; So stay calm and watch this space for more:

The writer

Sabit Ali

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