Cocaine, also referred to as coke, is a powerful stimulant. Cocaine's been around for thousands of years. It's a highly addictive psychoactive substance that has a tremendously powerful impact on the user mentally and physically.
Cocaine is a dangerous euphoria producing drug that can cause extremely serious health complications when used.
Cocaine produces intense euphoric feelings, elevates mood, increases energy and confidence but a "cocaine high" is brief. The pleasurable feelings known as a "rush" are experienced when cocaine reaches pleasure centers in the brain causing dopamine levels to rise resulting in intensified euphoric sensations.
The intensity of a rush, short and long-term use effects depend on the user themselves, their method and frequency of use. Due to the pleasurable high and other short term feelings cocaine produces, users can easily begin using the drug more frequently eventually increasing their dose.
Methods of Cocaine Use
All forms of cocaine and methods of use are addictive and dangerous. Below are ways in which an individual may abuse cocaine.
- Snorting cocaine powder
- Oral cocaine use (rubbing cocaine powder into the gums).
- Injecting liquefied powder cocaine into the bloodstream.
- Smoking cocaine also referred to as "freebase" (a form of cocaine that's been processed into "rock crystal" known as "crack").
- Cocaine binge pattern use (repeatedly using cocaine over a short period of time to maintain a high).
Short Term Effects of Cocaine Use
- Euphoric Rush
- Elevated Mood
- Increased Energy
- Increased Confidence
- Increased Body Temperature
- Increased Heart Rate
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Constriction of Blood Vessels
- Dilated Pupils
Some cocaine users have even experienced:
- Panic and Paranoid Feelings
- Muscle Twitching
The rush experienced with cocaine use is only temporary though. Soon dopamine levels in the brain begin to decrease, extreme euphoric feelings start to diminish and a miserable "crash" is experienced if use isn't repeated. Symptoms and intensity of a cocaine crash experienced depend on how the drug's administered, the amount used, the users level of use or level of dependence.
Cocaine Crash Symptoms
A cocaine crash is referred to as "comedown". The following are a list of symptoms experienced during a crash.
- Fatigue, Sleepiness and Exhaustion
- Depressed Feelings
- Agitation and Irritability
Cocaine Addiction Withdrawal
When a cocaine user has become addicted to the drug the crash experienced can be extremely miserable and intense. The mental, emotional and physical symptoms a cocaine addict experiences when they crash without repeating use is known as withdrawal. Cocaine withdrawal is in no way a pleasant experience, it's very serious. Withdrawal symptoms, intensity and duration depend on the cocaine users dose and level of use. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Intense Cocaine Cravings
- intense Depression
- Sleep Difficulties
- Decreased Energy
- Body Aches
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Increase in Appetite
- Impaired Mental Function
Long-Term Health Effects from Cocaine Use
Long-term use use of cocaine can have a horrendous lasting impact on the mind and body possibly causing irreversible damage, stroke, heart attack, seizures and death. Long-term cocaine use effects include:
- Weight Loss
- Sexual Dysfunction
- High Blood Pressure
- Memory Impairment
- Cognitive Impairment
- Blood Vessel Damage in the Brain
- Heart Damage
- Kidney Damage
- Lung Damage
- Liver Damage
- Severe Depression
- Severe Irritability, Anxiety, Restlessness, Panic and Paranoia
There are also additional long-term health effects associated with how cocaine is administered. Those health effects include:
- Snorting cocaine can cause nosebleeds and loss of smell, damage to nasal tissues and the throat.
- Smoking cocaine can cause Respiratory problems and damage to the throat.
- Shooting cocaine (injecting) can lead to infectious diseases and skin abscesses.
Cocaine impairs memory and cognitive function and mental impairments can be very severe, possibly irreversible.
Cocaine is a street drug and there's no way of knowing the drugs true potency and dangerous substances the batch has been cut or laced with. A wide range of different substances are used as cutting agents in street cocaine to dilute the drug and these additives make the drug even more toxic, dangerous and deadly.
Some of the dangerous additives that have been used to cut cocaine include:
- Boric Acid
- Laundry Detergent
- Acetyl Fentanyl
- Other Narcotic Painkillers
- Other Stimulant Medications
- Numbing Anesthetics
- Veterinary De-Worming Medications
Cocaine Overdose Dangerous Symptoms
A cocaine overdose is very serious and life-threatening, and even more dangerous for individuals suffering with other health complications. An accidental cocaine overdose can occur when; a very large or extremely potent dose of cocaine is used, with compulsive cocaine use, when combining cocaine with other stimulants, alcohol or other depressant drugs.
It's important to understand that cocaine is an exceptionally toxic drug and the effects it has on users vary. A potentially fatal overdose can even happen with a small dose of cocaine and cause serious damage to major organs. Dangerous cocaine overdose (cocaine toxicity) symptoms can include:
- Very Irregular Heartbeat
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Dangerous Increase in Blood Pressure
- Breathing Difficulties
- Dangerous Increase in Body Temperature
- Severe Anxiety
- Extreme Confusion
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Chest Pains
- Heart Attack
- Sudden Death