Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Ben Lesser
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that ups your levels of alertness, attention, and energy. You may hear it called a stimulant. It’s made from the coca plant, which is native to South America. It’s illegal in the U.S. Other names for it include:
It comes in a few different forms. The most common is a fine, white powder. It can also be made into a solid rock crystal.
Most cocaine users snort the white powder into their nose. Some rub it onto their gums or dissolve it in water and inject it with a needle. Others heat up the rock crystal and breathe the smoke into their lungs.
The drug sends high levels of dopamine, a natural chemical messenger in your body, into the parts of your brain that control pleasure. This buildup causes intense feelings of energy and alertness called a high.
Other short-term effects of cocaine may include:
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, sound, and sight
- Intense happiness
- Decreased appetite
People who use cocaine often may also have more serious side effects and health problems, like:
- Convulsions and seizures
- Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
- Mood problems
- Sexual trouble
- Lung damage
- HIV or hepatitis if you inject it
- Bowel decay if you swallow it
- Loss of smell, nosebleeds, runny nose, and trouble swallowing, if you snort it
You may have strong cravings for the drug and the high it brings. But the more you use cocaine, the more your brain will adapt to it. You’ll need a stronger dose to feel the same high. This can lead to a dangerous addiction or overdose.
Stronger, more frequent doses can also cause long-term changes in your brain’s chemistry. Your body and mind begin to rely on the drug. This can make it harder for you to think, sleep, and recall things from memory. Your reaction time may be slower. And you’re at risk for more heart, stomach, and lung problems.
Cocaine is a usual drug of abuse and has been for decades. Popular with those who frequent late night outings and people who want assistance handling work the next morning, cocaine is called an “upper” that provides consumers with both an excessive and a touch boost of energy to keep going.
Sadly, cocaine use can translate into critical health problems for the consumer, each in the short term whilst under the influence and in the long term after months or years of persistent use. Moreover, cocaine when used together with alcohol can create even extra critical health problems for the user.
If someone you love abuses cocaine, assistance is to be had. Contact us on the cellphone number listed above to connect with an expert that can assist.
Acute Health Problems
A small amount of cocaine produces a nearly on the spot high that could last for up to 15 mins or more depending upon the extent of purity, the way it was ingested, and the amount of the dose in addition to other drugs in the body. Unfortunately, acute health issues resulting from use of the drug may be fast in onset after use as well. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these can include:
- higher blood pressure and heart rate
- erratic and even violent behavior
- anxiety, paranoia and panic
- extreme shaking
- Uncontrollable muscle spasms
- Disrupted coronary heart rhythm (e.g., arrhythmia)
- heart attack
Dying can occur without warning – once in a while, after the primary use of the drug. In most cases, deaths due to acute use of cocaine start with a seizure and/or cardiac arrest and are accompanied by an arrest of the breathing system.
Long-term Health Concerns
Ongoing use of cocaine means a sustained exposure to risk of the above problems as well as an expanded chance of developing a bunch of persistent or extreme health issues. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that those can include:
- Addiction that could also arise with other clinical situations and trigger a number of mental health and social problems as well.
- Elevated sensitivity to the poor aspect consequences of cocaine use (e.g., violent conduct or panic and paranoia)
- Psychosis, including auditory and visual hallucinations
- Cardiovascular problems inclusive
Also, depending upon the manner of ingestion, users may additionally enjoy different severe health troubles related to long-time period use of cocaine. For example, folks that snort the drug can also end up with a deviated septum requiring surgical intervention and repair or may additionally lose their sense of odor. They’ll also battle with chronic nosebleeds, issue swallowing, chronic hoarseness or ongoing runny nostril.
Those who smoke cocaine may have an accelerated risk of respiration issues, in particular harm to the lungs. individuals who inject the drug have an accelerated danger of developing blood infections or transmissible illnesses like hepatitis C or HIV.
Cocaine + Alcohol
Some other extreme and incredibly lesser recognized threat of cocaine abuse happens while the consumer combines cocaine use with alcohol. According to the Journal of Addiction Diseases, consuming alcoholic drinks at the same time as using cocaine creates a brand new substance known as cocaethylene. This substance has residences which can be just like cocaine however a half of-existence this is as much as 5 instances longer. Because of this it remains inside the body – and does harm to organs and their systems – and may cause:
- Liver damage
- Compromised immune system
- Up to twenty-five-fold increase in chance of immediate death over use of cocaine alone
Counseling and different kinds of therapy are the most commonplace treatments for cocaine addiction. You might want to live in a rehabilitation center (also called rehab). Sessions with an experienced therapist allow you to make adjustments to your behaviors and notion techniques. No medicines are permitted to treat cocaine addiction. study more about treatments for cocaine addiction.
The most vital part of any treatment plan is that which you give up the drug proper. Many individuals who are addicted to cocaine undergo a phase called withdrawal when they first try this.
Withdrawal signs and symptoms that may occur can include:
- problem concentrating
- multiplied hunger
- Cravings for the drug
- Chills, nerve pain, muscle aches
A cocaine overdose is extra difficult to treat.
Physical signs include:
- elevated sweating, frame temperature, or heart fee
- trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Confusion, seizures, tremors
Watch out for these mental signs and symptoms of overdose, too:
An overdose regularly leads to a stroke or coronary heart assault. An ER health practitioner will check for these situations and attempt to treat them first. They will also use medicinal drugs to treat different headaches you have got.
Finding Treatment for Cocaine Abuse
Despite the addictive and effective nature of cocaine, an addiction can still be handled. The best way to treat a cocaine addiction will be physically removing the person from the places and people that have recommended (or enabled) their cocaine use, after which you assist them purge their body of the drug. This process is called detoxification, and even though it’s now not usually required inside the case of cocaine addiction, it is an important part of rehabilitation for some. It may require using anti-anxiety medicinal drugs, consisting of desipramine or an aggregate of phentermine and fenfluramine, to lessen the anxiety and despair often related to cocaine withdrawal.
Once the affected person has been weaned off cocaine, the subsequent stage of remedy will help them mentally address the temptation to apply the drug once more. This form of recovery frequently involves Cognitive Behavioral therapy, or CBT. In this form of therapy, a professional will assist the former user understand a way to take control in their lifestyles. An amazing CBT software will assist the affected person pick out the reasons they have been attracted to cocaine within the first vicinity, and then expand new, superb, more healthy ways to deal with the ones reasons.
Finally, cocaine treatment will place the addict in touch with a network of other recovering addicts who have successfully kicked their cocaine habit. The temptation to use cocaine will linger, probably for years and decades to return, however the connection and responsibility that comes from different people who have shared similar stories will help the affected person continue to be genuine to their recovery and dedicated to their more healthy existence.
In case you are afraid that cocaine is ruining your lifestyle, or the lifestyles of someone you recognize, please call us. Our admissions coordinators are prepared to reply to your questions and to offer you all of the records you need to get started out on the direction to recovery. You may leave cocaine in the back of for suitable and begin embracing a greater tremendous future these days.
For each of the mental health and medical health problems that arise due to cocaine abuse, treatment could make a lot of difference. Reach us on the cellphone numbers above for extra information.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.