Cocaine, a stimulant drug with little medical use, is one of the most widely abused drugs in the country. It is also responsible for more hospital emergency room visits than any other drug. Addiction to cocaine can be devastating to the addict as well as to their loved ones, but there is help and support available. Our treatment advisors via the cocaine abuse hotline number can assist you in finding an appropriate addiction treatment facility to help you begin the process of detoxing and recovery. Contact us today at .
On the Street
Cocaine, a powerful stimulant drug that directly affects the brain, became the drug of choice during the 1980s and 1990s. Despite the fact that non-medical use of it is illegal in the United States, it is generally available on the street. Commonly known as “coke,” “blow,” “nose candy,” “toot” and “flake,” cocaine is smuggled into the country from South America as a fairly pure substance known as cocaine hydrochloride.
The drug passes through several handlers before it reaches the end user, and each one usually dilutes or “cuts” the drug with another substance to eke out as much profit as they possibly can. By the time the cocaine salt is mixed with additives such as sugar, glucose, talc, cornstarch or other drugs, the final product may be anywhere from 1 to 95 percent pure.
Most users have no idea how pure or diluted the cocaine is before they consume it, which can cause erratic side effects. Our local 24/7 cocaine abuse helpline number can give you more information about trends in your particular area.
Did You Know?
Cocaine use is most prevalent in young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.
How Cocaine is Used
Users generally snort cocaine, although some may smoke or inject it. No matter how it is consumed, cocaine produces an almost-instantaneous “high.” The drug passes through the bloodstream and travels directly to the brain, resulting in a burst of energy and alertness and a very elevated mood. Some users may also experience negative feelings, including irritability, restlessness and paranoia. A cocaine abuse helpline can help you understand the symptoms of and effects of cocaine abuse in more detail.
“Users generally snort cocaine, although some may smoke or inject it. No matter how it is consumed, cocaine produces an almost-instantaneous ‘high.'”When snorted, cocaine’s effects wear off in as little as 30 minutes or up to two hours later. Smoking or injecting the drug causes a quicker, more intense high, but it usually wears off more quickly than snorting cocaine.
Signs of addiction to cocaine
- Dilation of the pupils
- High energy levels
- Speech that is excited and boisterous
Cocaine is a stimulant that also acts as an appetite suppressant. People who consistently use cocaine for long periods of time tend to lose a lot of weight and may appear thin or gaunt.
If you think a friend or family member may be abusing cocaine, call our cocaine addiction hotline at to speak with a treatment specialist.
Did You Know?
Roughly 25 million Americans have tried some form of cocaine at least once in their lifetime.
Physiological Effects of Cocaine Abuse
Although cocaine has a direct impact on the brain, it also affects many other parts of the body as it travels through the bloodstream. Cocaine can have many side effects, including:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in a heart attack or arrhythmia
- Constriction of the blood vessels in the brain, which can cause a stroke, seizure or violent behavior
- Damage to the nasal passage and sinuses if snorted frequently
- Irritation of the lungs or permanent lung damage if smoking crack cocaine
- Development of ulcers or perforation of the stomach or intestines
- Kidney failure, particularly in people with high blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction
Since researchers do not completely understand all of the ramifications of cocaine use by pregnant women, you should absolutely abstain from all use if you are pregnant, nursing or are trying to get pregnant. If you want to know more about pregnancy and cocaine use, call our cocaine abuse hotline number. Although much more research needs to be done, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that cocaine use during pregnancy is generally associated with premature deliveries and babies with low birth weights, short stature and small head circumferences.
If you snort, smoke or inject cocaine and believe you may have immediate medical problems, call for emergency medical assistance immediately. For more information on the effects of cocaine on the body, call our cocaine abuse helpline and speak with one of our treatment counselors at .
Did You Know?
University of Cambridge researchers discovered that habitual cocaine use prematurely accelerates aging of the brain, particularly the regions responsible for making decisions, memory and attention.
Cocaine Addiction and Withdrawal
Cocaine addiction is more psychological than physiological, but that does not make withdrawal any easier. Cocaine’s withdrawal symptoms often include:
- Acute anxiety
- Inability to focus and concentrate
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Cravings for cocaine
- Minor physical symptoms, such as aches and pains, chills and tremors
Although most of the physical symptoms will dissipate within one to two weeks, only behavioral intervention will help with the cravings, which can last for years.
Our addiction specialists are equipped to provide you with any type of information you need, including finding the right rehab center for your situation. Contact our cocaine crisis line today at to get started on the road to good health and clean living.