Cocaine is a stimulant that comes from the South American coca plant. This drug is illegal because of its side effects and its potential for addiction. However, it is one of the most trafficked drugs in the world, with regular routes running from South America to the United States and the rest of the world.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 16.5 percent of Americans over the age of 26 have used cocaine in their lifetime. Cocaine is sold as a powdered substance that is snorted or dissolved and injected intravenously. It is also commonly sold as a rock crystal, called crack, which is smoked. When cocaine enters the body it quickly travels to the brain where it increases the levels of dopamine in the reward center. The result is a rush of euphoria, as well as a spike in mood and energy.
Dangers of Cocaine Use
Users who inject, snort, or smoke cocaine put themselves at risk every time they use. This drug raises the user’s heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Cocaine increases body temperature, decreases appetite, and can cause headaches and gastrointestinal problems. Users that snort cocaine are often plagued with nosebleeds, runny nose, and problems swallowing. Injecting this drug increases the user’s risk for blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.
Cocaine is addicting, and research has found that the drug changes the structure of the brain’s reward system. Cocaine users find that they need more and more of the substance to feel the same effects, as they develop a tolerance to the drug. The high from cocaine can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Because the high rapidly wears off, users commonly struggle with cocaine binging, as they look for a way to extend the feeling of euphoria. This behavior can quickly lead to addiction.
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine use can lead to psychological problems like anxiety, paranoia, and irritability. Users can become so caught up with this type of drug use that they neglect their normal responsibilities and do not feel normal without it. It is often necessary for cocaine addicts to get professional help for their addiction.
Cocaine is a powerful drug that can cause long term side effects. If you or someone you love is being controlled by cocaine addiction, we can help. Our compassionate staff is here to help you find the treatment program that will meet your recovery needs. Contact us at 1.844.867.6835 today.