Cocaine dependence


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Cocaine dependence

Psychological disorders

Mood disorders

Major depressive disorder


Bipolar disorder

Seasonal affective disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Anxiety disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder

Panic disorder



Obsessive-compulsive disorders

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Body focused repetitive disorders

Body dysmorphic disorder

Stress-related disorders and abuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Physical and sexual abuse

Psychotic disorders

Schizoaffective disorder

Schizophreniform disorder

Delusional disorder


Cognitive and dissociative disorders



Dissociative disorders

Eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa

Personality disorders

Cluster A personality disorders

Cluster B personality disorders

Cluster C personality disorders

Somatoform and factitious disorders

Somatic symptom disorder

Factitious disorder

Substance use disorders and drugs of abuse

Tobacco dependence

Opioid dependence

Cannabis dependence

Cocaine dependence

Alcohol use disorder

Sleep disorders


Nocturnal enuresis


Night terrors

Narcolepsy (NORD)

Sexual dysfunction disorders

Erectile dysfunction

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Orgasmic dysfunction

Female sexual interest and arousal disorder

Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder

Pediatric disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders

Learning disability

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Tourette syndrome

Autism spectrum disorder

Rett syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome



Psychiatric emergencies


Serotonin syndrome

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Psychological disorders review

Mood disorders: Pathology review

Amnesia, dissociative disorders and delirium: Pathology review

Personality disorders: Pathology review

Eating disorders: Pathology review

Psychological sleep disorders: Pathology review

Psychiatric emergencies: Pathology review

Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Hallucinogens: Pathology review

Malingering, factitious disorders and somatoform disorders: Pathology review

Anxiety disorders, phobias and stress-related disorders: Pathology Review

Trauma- and stress-related disorders: Pathology review

Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Pathology review

Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Stimulants: Pathology review

Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Alcohol: Pathology review

Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review

Childhood and early-onset psychological disorders: Pathology review


Cocaine dependence


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

11 pages


Cocaine dependence

of complete


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 29-year-old primigravid woman at 34 weeks gestation comes to the clinic for a routine prenatal examination. She has noticed regular fetal movements and does not have complaints of vaginal bleeding, leaking or abdominal pain. She had an upper respiratory infection and hyperemesis in the first trimester that have since resolved. The patient uses illicit drugs including heroin, cocaine and marijuana. She does not use tobacco. Prior to conceiving, she would consume alcohol with her friends on the weekends. Temperature is 98°F (36.6°C), pulse is 110 bpm, blood pressure is 100/70 mmHg. Ultrasound reveals a biparietal diameter of 32 weeks and abdominal circumference of 28 weeks. Which of the following complications should be anticipated at the time of delivery? 

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Content Reviewers

Rishi Desai, MD, MPH

Kelly Mackenzie, MA


Tanner Marshall, MS

Cocaine, sometimes called coke, is a powerful psychoactive stimulant that alters how the brain functions—specifically, how we perceive our surroundings.

Cocaine comes from the leaves of the South American coca plant, and has been used for over a thousand years.

In modern times, it’s become a popular “party drug” because cocaine reduces inhibitions and creates a feeling of euphoria or pleasure; this feeling lasts between fifteen and ninety minutes, depending on how the drug’s it’s administered.

Around 18 million people worldwide use cocaine, and because of its strong potential for addiction and overdose, the drug is heavily regulated in many countries.

To understand how cocaine works, let’s zoom into one of the synapses of the brain.

Normally, electrical signals, or action potentials, travel down the axon to the axon terminal, where they trigger the release of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters from synaptic vesicles into the synapse.

The neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptors on the postsynaptic neuron, where they give the cell a message.

After the neurotransmitters have done their job, they unbind from the receptors, and can just diffuse away, get degraded by enzymes, or get picked up by proteins and returned to their release site in a process called reuptake.

Cocaine increases the release of certain neurotransmitters, but it’s biggest effect is blocking reuptake receptors on presynaptic axon terminals.

Both of these actions keep neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the synapse longer, increasing their effects.

For example, increased concentrations of dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway (which includes the nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmentum, and prefrontal cortex) produce intense feelings of euphoria, pleasure, and the emotional “high” associated with cocaine.


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