What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerful drug that comes from the leaves of the coca bush, a plant grown in South America. It’s sold as a white powder that is most often snorted (inhaled through the nostrils), but it can also be dissolved in water and injected. Powder cocaine can be chemically changed to create forms of cocaine that can be smoked. These forms, known as “freebase” and “crack”, look like crystals or rocks.
The cocaine you can buy on the street is rarely pure. Often, it’s mixed with other substances, like talcum powder or dextrose, or with other drugs, like amphetamines. Cocaine is also known as “coke”, “C”, “snow”, “flake” or “blow”.
What Does Cocaine Do To The Body?
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that affects the brain. All forms of cocaine have the same effects. It produces a short-lived high that is immediately followed by opposite, intense feelings of depression, edginess, and craving for more of the drug.
If snorted, cocaine reaches the brain in three to five minutes and the “high” lasts about 60 to 90 minutes. Injecting cocaine produces a “rush” in 15-30 seconds and lasts 20 to 60 minutes. Smoking produces an almost immediate intense experience and lasts only five to ten minutes.
When users come down or “crash”, they feel very depressed, anxious, and irritable. Many users take repeated doses to keep the high going and avoid the crash. Others try to modify the effects or stop the binges with other drugs like alcohol, tranquillizers or heroin.
Short Term Effects:
All forms of cocaine have the same effects.
- Increased alertness, high energy and euphoria followed by agitation, anxiety and decreased appetite.
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
In large amounts cocaine can cause:
- Shallow breathing
- Unpredictable or violent behaviour
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Heart attack
- Feelings of paranoia, anger, hostility and anxiety even when the “high” is gone
Long Term Effects:
- Injecting cocaine can cause infections from needles or impurities in the drug. Sharing needles can cause hepatitis, HIV/AIDS or other diseases.
- Snorting cocaine can damage tissue in the nose. Over time, snorting cocaine can cause sinus infections and loss of smell, stuffed, runny chapped or bleeding noses, and holes in the barrier separating the nostrils.
- Smoking cocaine can damage the lungs and cause “crack lung”. Symptoms include severe chest pain, breathing problems and high temperatures. This can be fatal.
- Weight loss
- Sexual problems (like difficulty getting an erection)
- Severe psychiatric symptoms including psychosis, anxiety, depression and paranoia.
What Are The Risks With Cocaine?
- People who inject cocaine, especially if they share needles, are at risk of getting infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
A person can overdose on even a small amount of cocaine. There is no antidote to cocaine overdose.
- Loss of interest in other areas of their life, like school, friends, sports
Cocaine use is linked with risk-taking and violence. This increases the chance of getting hurt.
- Trouble with the law
- May use other drugs while using cocaine and may not realize it. Mixing cocaine with alcohol or other drugs makes overdose more likely.
- You never know what you are getting. There are a lot of substances that look like white powder. Dealers are not always honest.
- You may do something you regret later.
- The chemicals used in making crack can catch fire which adds to the danger
- Cocaine use during pregnancy may hurt the baby. The mother is more likely to have a miscarriage, have a baby born too early or have a smaller baby. There is also the risk that the baby will be addicted to cocaine when he/she is born.
Cocaine is addictive. It interferes with the way your brain processes chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so you need more and more of the drug just to feel normal.
People who become addicted to cocaine lose control over their use of the drug. They feel a strong need for cocaine, even when they know it causes them medical, psychological and social problems. Getting and taking cocaine can become the most important thing in their lives.
Cocaine causes people to “crash” when they stop using it. When they “crash”, their mood swings rapidly from high to distress. This brings powerful cravings for more of the drug. Bingeing to stay high leads quickly to addiction.
Symptoms of Cocaine withdrawal can include exhaustion, extended and restless sleep or sleeplessness, hunger, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts and intense cravings for more of the drug. The memory of the high experienced when using cocaine is powerful and brings a strong risk of relapse to drug.
More on Cocaine:
People hear about illegal drugs like crack cocaine all the time. But just what is crack cocaine? Here are some facts about crack cocaine: Crack cocaine is a stimulant. When you say stimulant, it means that it is a substance that induces the body to suddenly become invigorated and replenished with energy. Medical experts, on … Read more…
To addicts, it feels good to get that “high” feeling from sniffing or downing crack cocaine, but here’s the thing: it won’t last long, and then you’ll get to feel the consequences. If you’re into the habit, do yourself a favor and quit crack cocaine now. Spare yourself from incurable overdose symptoms that could ultimately … Read more…
Crack cocaine comes in various other nicknames and monikers. In the streets, when you hear about the “C,” the coke, the poor man’s coke, the rock, the snow, the freebase, or the blow, you are basically just hearing about one thing: crack cocaine. Medical Terms On the other hand, in medical science, crack cocaine is referred to … Read more…
Cocaine rehabilitation refers to the housing of cocaine abuse victims in a shelter that specializes in the care and treatment of those who fall prey to the empty “promises” of the drug cocaine. These cocaine care and treatment shelters are also called cocaine rehabilitation centers. Here, the cocaine abuse victim gets personalized treatment, and the … Read more…
In the United States, Crack cocaine sentencing is a provision in the Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy. What made it significant is the fact that it has drawn a lot of controversy and criticism due to its allegedly harsh policies that sort of hit the sensibilities of human rights activists. Reasoning What had been the … Read more…
Outpatient cocaine treatment is often more of a follow up treatment after going through an inpatient rehabilitation program. Qualifications In order for one to be qualified for outpatient cocaine treatment, the individual must first achieve some stability in terms of his/ her cocaine use and addiction. The common goal of outpatient cocaine treatment is to … Read more…
Treatment centers for cocaine play an important role in the rehabilitation of addicted individuals. These treatment centers for cocaine are “home” to users, albeit temporarily. Hence, these should be able to provide prompt and ample support to the unique and specific needs of people addicted to cocaine. Sensitive to the needs to the addict Cocaine addiction … Read more…
Collaborative cocaine treatment pertains to group drug counselling that is often made a part of a patient’s cocaine addiction therapy program. This collaborative cocaine treatment or group drug counselling involves other individuals suffering from cocaine addiction and a moderator. Role of the moderator The moderator follows a guideline for discussion. Different issues on addiction and … Read more…
There are several approaches to treatment for cocaine addicts. Treatment for cocaine addicts involve both inpatient and outpatient programs. Treatment is often personalized, depending on the need of the patient. For example, if an addict has relapsed several times, the relapse component in the treatment of cocaine addicts should be included in his/ her rehabilitation … Read more…
Cocaine withdrawal treatment is necessary whenever an individual experiences cocaine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are experienced whenever a user quits cocaine or when the user stops his/ her cocaine binge. Cocaine use produces a euphoric feeling, wherein the brain is high on more-than-usual bio-chemicals. Once this euphoria ends, the user experiences depression or a psychological … Read more…