Does Cocaine Make You Smarter?

BushCokeHAMILTON MORRIS writes on VICE:

Hey. Did any of you read this paper on the role of G9a in cocaine-induced dendritic spine plasticity? No? OK, well did you at least read this summary of the findings in Time? Still no? Fine. The gist is that repeated coke use suppresses a protein called G9a, which slows the growth of dendritic spines in your neurons, which, as Time puts it, “can reflect learning, but in the case of addiction may involve learning to connect a place or person with the desire for more drugs.”

If you read that and thought, “Wait a second, is this a potentially beneficial effect of cocaine on your brain that they’re trying to spin as a danger?” then yes you are right. Potentially. There is a well established connection between number of dendritic spines and intelligence as measured by IQ (retarded children have long misshapen dendrites which are unevenly dispersed), but it really has to do with what pathways that extra dendritic power is being used to reinforce. In the case of “bad drugs,” the article just arbitrarily assumes that it would be “the desire for more drugs.”

I have always thought what you do on drugs is as important as the drugs themselves, eg people who take LSD and teach themselves to type in a day versus people who stare at a wall in silence, reenforcing the “the stare at a wall in silence” pathway in their limbic system. This is something i think might contribute to permanently “acid burned” people–these are usually the people who are/were least likely to stimulate themselves intellectually while under the influence of a psychedelic. I have no direct evidence for this obviously. Right now it’s just a thought that makes me feel better about using 2C-D to study astronomy for months.

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  • Ben

    so they are giving retarded kids coke? maybe i misunderstood. fuck it.

  • tonyviner

    I know when I am on the stuff I “feel” smarter, at least when I am able to rein in my thoughts, which are wild enough as it is. Supposedly a lot of the advances that Freud made in psychoanalysis(?) happened under the influence of cocaine. Then again, I have met some people that are just plain stupid when they are on it.

  • sidneee

    Does it make you smarter? hmmm…

    *snnnnooooort*

    YEAH BABY IT SURE DOES!!!! WHOOO!!

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Coke makes you hyper alert, not smarter. In a room full of people on coke, everybody talks but nobody listens. You just grit your teeth and babble incessantly trying to get a word in edgewise. Coke is good for spring cleaning projects, dental surgery and aggravating heart trouble among other “smart” uses.
    Try coffee or better yet, a good nights sleep…

  • http://www.piratepasta.com/ Jon

    I'm fairly sure that the amount of the brain being used in cocaine addicts is lower than those who don't take cocaine.

  • santosfabian

    “hurry up baby, i got something to do. guess what? cocaine”. ha!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIM4UuD5qnc

  • Anonymous

    Interesting post, I don’t think there should e any excuse for addiction these days apart from laziness. It is so easy to search for the top 10 rehab facilities in your area and get professional help. I had to help my sister last year when she admitted she was hiding an addiction to cocaine and she has now made a full recovery :)

  • SpaceOdyssey42

    Cocaine can only make you.. half dead….

  • http://security-wire.com/03/how-to-remove-windows-diagnostic-fake-security-program.html remove windows diagnostic

    It makes me stupid.

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  • ….

    if your smart and use drugs it will come out smart, if your dumb and use drugs it will come out dumb. Every psychedelic trip I’ve taken i always used it as a learning experience and a tool of personal and general discovery, thus i got a lot out of the trips that positively affected my sober life. Then there are the people take take a trip to get fucked up and in the end they just get fucked up, confused, psychologically damaged, or dont even notice the trip. They end up doing nothing during and get nothing after. It’s all in the way, reason, and intelligence in which you take take the substance. Also with weed dumb people get so blank and giggly they can hardly even comprehend where they are, while smarter people get “creative” ideas and explore the world around them as well as themselves.

  • ….

    if your smart and use drugs it will come out smart, if your dumb and use drugs it will come out dumb. Every psychedelic trip I’ve taken i always used it as a learning experience and a tool of personal and general discovery, thus i got a lot out of the trips that positively affected my sober life. Then there are the people take take a trip to get fucked up and in the end they just get fucked up, confused, psychologically damaged, or dont even notice the trip. They end up doing nothing during and get nothing after. It’s all in the way, reason, and intelligence in which you take take the substance. Also with weed dumb people get so blank and giggly they can hardly even comprehend where they are, while smarter people get “creative” ideas and explore the world around them as well as themselves.

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