Posts filed under ‘Health’
Eating Disorders: Myths, Facts, and Unknowns
This week, February 20-26, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The campaign was established by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) in order to raise awareness about one of the most insidious mental illnesses effecting especially (but not only) adolescents in Western cultures today. Despite the fact that we always hear about anorexic celebrities and models, ostensibly placing understanding of the illness in the spotlight, there are many public misconceptions. Here are a few misunderstandings, established facts, and areas in which more research is required.
** This guest post is contributed by Tara Miller, who particularly enjoys writing about psychology degree. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. **
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I’m sure many readers have a beautiful array of plants in their homes and gardens. However, Erythroxylon coca is certainly not a plant you’d be willing to plant in your back garden. That is, of course, unless you’re a drug cultivator and happen to have the correct conditions to grow it. If you haven’t already guessed, Erythroxylon coca is the plant that produces Cocaine.
So what exactly is Cocaine?
Well, if this was a Chemistry blog, I might have told you that Cocaine is methyl (1R,2R,3S,5S)-3- (benzoyloxy)-8-methyl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1] octane-2-carboxylate (or Benzoylmethylecgonine) for short…
Nope, I didn’t understand that either.
For the interests of Psychology, Cocaine is simply a powerful Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant. It is extracted from the leaves of coca plants, and was first used in 1844 as a local anaesthetic (although South Americans were using it many centuries before to decrease hunger and fatigue). Sigmund Freud even prescribed the drug to patients, until they started to become addicted. Cocaine is a Class A drug, meaning it is illegal to possess, deal or use in the United Kingdom. Although it can be injected, rubbed into gums or ingested, the most common method is smoking – the drug reaches the brain in 5-10 seconds this way (much faster than the other methods mentioned).