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Johny's Brain on Coke Essay

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The following is a hypothetical and extremely unrealistic dialogue between my hypothetical friend Johnny and me. The conversation takes place at a Wesleyan party and concerns Johnny's decision to snort cocaine. The reason I chose cocaine for the topic of this dialogue is because of its widespread prevalence on campus, as well as the fact that several friends of mine frequently do coke for recreational purposes.

Me. Hey Johnny, what you up to?

Johnny. Nothing much dude, just doin' some lines. You in?

Me. No Johnny, I think I'll have to pass.

Johnny. What's the problem, you broke?

Me. Well actually I've been taking this class called biopsych where I'm learning all this cool stuff about drugs and what they do to your brain, and--

Johnny. `Cause I mean I can spot you some cash if you're low on bills.

Me. Dude, are you even listening to what I'm saying?

Johnny. What? Oh my bad. What did you say you learned?

Me. Well for one thing I learned exactly how coke works in your brain.

Johnny. Really? That sounds like something I should probably know about, but I really don't know like nothing about biology and stuff.

Me. That's ok, I'd be happy to explain it to you. Ok I'll start from the basics. I'm sure you know that all electrical signals in your brain and body are carried via cells called neurons.

Johnny. Uh, right.

Me. Well the way this electrical impulse travels down the neuron is by rapidly depolarizing the cell's membrane, opening ion channels in it. When the impulse, also known as the action potential, reaches the end of the neuron, (the axon terminal), it triggers in influx of calcium ions into the presynaptic membrane.

Johnny. Presynaptic?

Me. Ok I'm going too fast--a synapse is the site ...


... middle of paper ...


...your body will crave nourishment to make up for all that activity.

Johnny. Wow, this is certainly good to know. I mean recently I've been doing coke like every other day, but after hearing this I think I might have to cut back. Just what is it that makes people like me start abusing drugs, I wonder?


Me. Well Johnny, there are lots of reasons that people abuse drugs. Some do it `cause they want to escape the pains of reality. For these people drugs offer a brief alleviation of the depression, anxiety, or banality of their sad lives. Some people abuse drugs simply because they are available and see them as great forms of recreation. Some people--

Johnny. Ok, ok. I get it. Thanks for the info session, it's been well appreciated. But I gotta take off now--I promised my friend I'd pack a bowl with him tonight and I'm already late. Later dude.

Me. Peace.




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