Understanding Cocaine is a fine, white powdery substance that reacts with the
body’s central nervous system(CNS), producing energy and euphoria.
It is most commonly snorted, but can also be smoked or dissolved in water and injected.
Cocaine is also referred to as coke, blow or powder.
Many people today recognize that cocaine is addictive,yet thousands are still
drawn to it. As many as 1,800 Americans experiment with cocaine for the first time each day.
Cocaine Effects and Abuse
Any use of cocaine is considered abuse because it is an illegal substance.
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant that affects the brain by stimulating
high levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and reward.
Over time, Cocaine negatively effects every part of the body with potential for
severe long-term effects. It can cause changes to genetics in brain cells, nerve cells and proteins, among other permanent effects.
Other effects of using cocaine include:
How people use cocaine also alters the potency and duration of the effects. The effects of snorting it are short-lived, lasting approximately 15-30 minutes.
Smoking or injecting cocaine is more intense but lasts for an even shorter period, about 5 to 10 minutes. Most cocaine users will dose frequently in order to maintain the desired effects.
Injecting the drug poses a higher risk of overdose than snorting.
Cocaine abuse is particularly dangerous because continued use can cause strain on the heart.
The most common cause of death in frequent cocaine users is stroke or cardiac arrest. If you or someone you know is abusing cocaine, Understanding Cocaine
Addiction to Cocaine
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, but it may be hard to recognize an addiction to
it. Craving cocaine and ignoring the consequences that come with it are signs of an addiction.
The psychological addiction is often the hardest part to overcome, although there are undeniable physical symptoms of addiction as well. Someone who uses
cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it, meaning they need to have it in order to feel normal. Once a dependence has developed, a tolerance will
develop and withdrawal symptoms will occur when stopping use.
Once someone becomes addicted to cocaine, it can be very hard to stop. This is
because cocaine abnormally increases the level of dopamine in the brain, eventually reprogramming the brain reward system.
Cocaine and Other Drugs
Many people who experiment with cocaine usually do so in environments where other substances are being used.
For this reason, many people with a cocaine addiction may also have a dependence on other substances, such as alcohol or marijuana.
This is known as poly-drug use and is especially dangerous, as it increases the risk of fatal overdose.
Cocaine and alcohol are frequently used together, to the point where alcohol can be a trigger for recovering cocaine users.
For this reason, it is important to abstain from all drugs during recovery.
Using heroin and cocaine together is arguably the most dangerous of all drug combinations that include cocaine.
Treating a Cocaine Addiction
An addiction to cocaine can be hard to beat. However, help and resources are
available for people who are ready to take their life back.