This report is an overview on the effects that cocaine as a drug has on the reward pathway and the brain of the user and how that ultimately affects their employment.
Employment outlines not only the place of work of someone but also their income. Employment plays a massive role on the lives and lifestyle of the individual and the community. The reasons employment is so important to the stability of someone's life and/or society is because of many reasons. The first being because as the financial needs rise with the economy it makes it a lot harder on people to live a good quality life without having employment, another reason employment is so important in society is because it gives a lot of people meaning; without which people would become disconnected from society and could cause a lot of problems such as drug abuse, mental illnesses (depression), distance from loved ones and friends and could even become fatal. This report goes over the explanation of cocaine and thy chemistry behind it including the way it's produced and is followed by ho reasons why employment is so important in society and finally finishing by concluding the whole report.


Cocaine, oftenly referred to as coke, is one of the most commonly abused illicit drug in the U.S. it is native to south america and the leaves from the coca plant (which is the base ingredient in cocaine) was used as an anesthetic by the native americans, and now south america is home to the biggest cocaine trafficking companies in the world. Cocaine is a strong stimulant drug which can cause loss of contact with reality but most of all, supplies an enormous amount of happiness. The production process of cocaine is very long and tedious which is why the price is really high compared to other drugs such as marijuana. Cocaine is a product of the leaves from the coca plant, the leaves are picked and processed into a paste which is then purified to form coca base, which is then transformed into the purest form of cocaine which is the powdered form or otherly known as cocaine hydrochloride (the powdered cocaine).

Cocaine’s chemical formula is C17H21NO4 (17 Carbon atoms, 21 Hydrogen atoms and peroxynitrate.)

Cocaine can enter the bloodstream in many ways, it can be snorted in a powdered form which is the most common way, it can be injected in a liquid form and it can be inhaled as a smoke. Once cocaine has been snorted, injected or inhaled it then enters the bloodstream. Depending on how cocaine is being used, it enters the bloodstream in different parts of the body (i.e. snorted into the nose, injected into an arm, inhaled through the mouth.) but cocaine eventually makes it way to the brain where it affects the body the most. Cocaine’s effects can affect a lot of parts of the body both mentally and physically and can leave some severe long term issues all though the big problem about cocaine is when it gets into the synapse and manipulates the amount of dopamine is in the synapse causing the most powerful effects on the individual.

File:Kokain - Cocaine.svg - Wikimedia Commons
( this is cocaines chemical structure )

The consumption of cocaine can lead to various health issues, some short term health issues are; craving for more of the drug, sleep deprivation, anxiety, paranoia, high increase in heart rate and muscle spasms.
Some long term health issues are; severe tooth decay, severe depression, liver  kidney and lung damage,    

Cocaine manipulates the process of the brain's reward pathway. The reward pathway is activated during pleasurable activities and occurs in a section of the midbrain called the limbic system, neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphin and serotonin are released depending on the type of pleasurable activity. The normal process of the reward pathway is activated by a rewarding action such as eating food, once it is activated a neuron releases a hormone called dopamine into the synapse which is then picked up by a special protein called dopamine receptors on a nearby neuron. The dopamine is then picked up by another specialized protein called transporters which remove dopamine from the synapse for further use another time. Cocaine manipulates the reward pathway in the way that it blocks off the transporters not allowing them to remove the dopamine, ultimately resulting in a flood of dopamine in the synapse. 
Dopamine carries signals from neuron to neuron so when the synapse is overpopulated with dopamine the signal from one neuron to another is amplified resulting in an extreme feeling of euphoria or in other words a high, once this extreme feeling of euphoria has subsided a new and worse feeling is introduced this feeling is of extreme depression and comes immediately after the high is over. Although dopamine is a natural hormone and creates the sensation of pleasure, having enormous exes amounts of it can become fatal.


Drug abuse but more specifically cocaine plays an enormous part in the employment of not only the user but also the dealer. Cocaine for some people can become a stable although illegal job, cocaine in australia roughly costs upwards of $200 per gram which in some cases is the reason people choose to sell cocaine. Cocaine addiction and abuse can ultimately determine the fate of someone’s employment, cocaine can impact on the employment of someone in various ways, it can affect the way you spend the money you earn, the long term health issues can be a massive problem with your employment; if you are expected to go to work early in the morning every day but you are sleep deprived because of your addiction of cocaine this can harm your work performance extremely causing your employment to be terminated. 

Once you have consumed cocaine and you have had the extreme high you are faced with an extreme ‘low’ or in other words you become incredibly depressed this could lead to the loss of motivation and turn out in you not even going to work and just staying home to talking to anyone becoming disconnected from society which can really damage your relationship with your colleagues and boss/bosses leading in the loss of employment. If you are not employed and you are addicted and abuse cocaine it may result in a hard time for you to get employed, it has been proven that employment plays a massive role in stability of society so therefore if you are unable to find employment because of your addiction to cocaine you might also find it hard to pay for common things ( bills, rent, food etc.) this could result in you becoming homeless. Cocaine can manipulate the way you behave in your workplace, for example it can; 
  • cause you to be aggressive
  • Become paranoid
  • Talk endlessly about unrelated things
  • Have poor or impulsive decisions
These are just some examples of the behavioural effects of cocaine and all of these could lead to you being fired or even arrested and charged.     


In conclusion the consumption of cocaine can affect individuals but also society in multiple ways, it affects how the brain functions. Employment is a really important feature in the stability of society and plays a massive role in the lives of the community of cocaine abusers, employment is affected majorly by the consumption of cocaine and by the effect cocaine has on the individuals. To live a stable and long life without employment is near impossible and the consumption of cocaine only prevents the chances of this happening, cocaine manipulates the individual's brain and psychic and also leaves the individual with many health problems which could potentially eliminate in current and future employment. Not only does the effects of cocaine determine the fate of one's employment but so does the consequences of buying,selling and consuming cocaine as all three of these actions are illegal and harshly punishable. Cocaine consumption can also lead to various health problems including death. It is very clear that cocaine manipulates and affects the brain in various ways ultimately affecting the fate of the individual's employment.  


NIDA. (2016, May 6). Cocaine. Retrieved from on 2017, October 22

NIDA. (2016, February 11). Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says. Retrieved from on 2017, October 25

drug-free-world. 2016. Effects of cocaine. [Online]. [Accessed 8 November 2017]. Available from:

Stop cocaine. March 24, 2017. The Invisible Drug: Why it’s so Difficult to Detect Cocaine Use in the Workplace. [Online]. [Accessed 8 November 2017]. Available from: