What Coke Does to Investment Bankers (and the Rest of Us)
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What Coke Does to Investment Bankers (and the Rest of Us)


Business as Usual

Business Insider doesn’t usually publish substance abuse awareness articles but they recently ran one about the impact of cocaine on the body after two recent scandals rocked the business world.

The first was when an investment banker’s ex-wife accused her husband of “intense drug abuse” after he shit and pissed all over their luxe apartment and clung “desperately” to his daughter while he was in a k-hole and the second was less than a week later when a British banker murdered two prostitutes in Hong Kong and police found blow in his house.

Euphoria, Addiction and Heart

No, those aren’t new nightclubs. According to this piece (and common sense), those are the body’s physical and mental functions affected by cocaine, abused or not (and yes, I felt like a cool young teacher when typing that out). The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) says—and I heartily agree—that cocaine “sparks euphoria and mental alertness” like Adderall for people at Coachella and the faster it hits the bloodstream, the more intense it is (and shorter it lasts). The University of Michigan wasted lots of the school’s money by finding that “repeated cocaine use resulted in a hyper-responsive dopamine system” meaning that whenever coke hit the bloodstream, a hell of a lot of dopamine is released, in turn setting up addiction in the brain. NIDA also found that coke is so addictive, people can crave it by watching others do the drug (NIDA, you could have saved some cash and just asked me because oh, yes).

More info: Researchers at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan in LA found that coke increases heart rate and blood pressure while simultaneously closing up arteries. This can lead to chest pain, heart attacks and strokes. Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital found that after the first hour of doing coke, the user’s risk of a heart attack increases 24-fold.

What Else Does Coke Do?

Further findings include the fact that coke abuse shrinks levels of VMAT2, the protein that makes dopamine. In other words, people doing coke use up all their dopamine, which in turn leads to depression. Another effect is that it enhances the sex drive but over time also results in impotence, a torturous combo if ever there was one. Also—hello!—snorting destroys nose tissue.

Business Insider is read by all sorts of bankers and money-hungry guys with boutique ties and Alexander McQueen wallets who work at places that require drug testing so the last two effects are arguably most important for that readership: coke is visible in a urine test for up to 48 hours and 90 days in a hair test.

It’s always nice when Wall Street can teach us lessons beyond what impact corruption and greed can have on the soul. God knows drug use and addiction are hard enough to handle even without those issues. And who knows? Maybe guys like this can get some help and stop murdering girls, shitting their beds and freaking out their kids.

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About Author

Carlos Herrera is a comedian, photographer and writer whose work can also be found on The Fix . He has been featured in LA Weekly and has performed at The Hollywood Improv among other places.