The word cocaine has become popular in the recent past. It is a drug made from leaves of the Coca plant, and studies have revealed that almost 15% of people are addicted to this drug. Cocaine is also known by the name of coke, snow, crack, blow, and flake. It is a highly addictive drug that affects the brain’s neuropathways and leaves a feeling of energy, euphoria, and talkativeness. There are a variety of ways of consuming cocaine. It stands true that cocaine prevents dopamine, serotonin, and Norepinephrine. The sense of euphoria caused by cocaine is the primary reason for addictions.
How Does Cocaine Work?
Cocaine alters the chemistry of the brain in a similar way to the majority of other drugs that produce euphoric experiences. The brain is a curious organ that operates entirely on chemical or electrical impulses, as it turns out. This implies that specific molecules may be linked to particular experiences, ideas, or emotions. They are known as neurotransmitters, and many people think of them as the body’s chemical messengers.
Dopamine is one of these neurotransmitters or messengers. Dopamine is in charge of thoughts and emotions that are associated with pleasure and happiness. Dopamine accumulation might result in extreme emotions of high energy and alertness. Coke affects dopamine levels in the brain, which makes it logical given that it produces a high associated with vigor and alertness.
Dopamine is a natural chemical messenger in your body that travels in high concentrations through the medication and into the regions of your brain that manage pleasure. It is known as a high when there is an extraordinary amount of energy and alertness as a result of this rise.
Some significant effects of cocaine
Psychological effects: the effects of cocaine include aggression, anxiety, hallucinations, panic, paranoia, depression, irritability, impaired judgment, and abnormal behaviors. Psychological effects are difficult to notice. However, only when they take adverse forms can it get seen. If your near and dear one is suffering from this kind of drug abuse, try to look out for the psychological symptoms.
Physical effects: it is a kind of addiction that may include nausea, chest pain, headache, unhealthy weight loss, heart attack, heart diseases, scissors, stroke, etc. You need to be on the lookout for the physical effects of cocaine on the individuals before the problem takes a severe turn
Medical conditions: it includes hepatitis, respiratory tract disorders, weekend immune system, and bowel problems. The medical requirements are serious problems that can take adverse forms with time. You may have to take action at the initial stage, not to turn out to be data for the patient.
What are cocaine’s short-term effects?
Cocaine produces a quick-acting, strong high that is quickly followed by the opposite—an extremely low, agitation, and a desire for more cocaine. Individuals who utilize it frequently miss meals and sleep. Their heart rate may significantly rise, and they may also have convulsions and muscular spasms. Even when not high, the substance can make users feel agitated, irritable, and worried.
No matter how much or how often cocaine is taken, it raises the likelihood that the user may have a heart attack, stroke, seizure, or respiratory failure, all of which can cause rapid death.
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Contracted blood vessels
- Increased rate of breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior
- Hallucinations, hyperexcitability, irritability
- Tactile hallucination that creates the illusion of bugs burrowing under the skin
- Intense euphoria
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Intense drug craving
- Panic and psychosis
- Convulsions, seizures, and sudden death from high doses (even one time)
What are cocaine’s long-term effects?
Several years ago, the term “dope fiend” was first used to indicate the detrimental effects of persistent cocaine usage. To achieve the same high, one must take ever-increasing doses of the drug as tolerance builds. Long-term daily usage impairs sleep and decreases appetite. A person may develop psychosis and start having hallucinations.
While cocaine interferes with the way the brain processes chemicals, one requires more and more of the substance merely to feel “normal.” Individuals who get addicted to cocaine (like with most other drugs) lose interest in other aspects of life.
Upon coming off the medication, a person experiences such terrible sadness that they would do virtually anything—even murder—to obtain the drug.
And if the addict is unable to obtain cocaine, their sadness may become so severe that they attempt suicide.
- Permanent damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain
- High blood pressure, leading to heart attacks, strokes, and death
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Destruction of tissues in the nose if sniffed
- Respiratory failure if smoked
- Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
- Malnutrition, weight loss
- Severe tooth decay
- Auditory and tactile hallucinations
- Sexual problems, reproductive damage, and infertility (for both men and women)
- Disorientation, apathy, confusion exhaustion
- Irritability and mood disturbances
- Increased frequency of risky behavior
- Delirium or psychosis
- Severe depression
- Tolerance and addiction (even after just one use)
What happens if you use cocaine while pregnant?
Cocaine use during pregnancy is harmful to both the mother and the developing baby. The fetus’ growing nervous system and heart can be negatively impacted by cocaine bypassing the placenta that surrounds it. This may lead to:
- premature birth
- cardiac and neurological birth defects
Even after delivering birth, the woman may continue to experience the neurological repercussions and influence on dopamine levels in the brain. Among the postpartum symptoms are:
- postpartum depression
- withdrawal symptoms, including:
- intense cravings
The likelihood of having a healthy baby is increased by quitting drugs during the first trimester.
Why people develop this addiction?
The fact that cocaine affects the neurological system of a person is a significant cause of addiction. The repeated use of the drug can bring about changes in memory, pleasure, and decision making. A person who is addicted to the drug can hardly resist the urges that occur at some point in time. The stimulant acts like an enhancer and creates a blockage in the transportation of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Necessary treatment procedures
The treatment facilities: there are various kinds of residential treatment facilities available all across the world. They are highly effective and cover almost all the facets of the addiction. The duration of the treatment lasts for weeks to nearly a year. The rehab centers in Portland have multiple institutions that are highly effective in this regard. They provide different kinds of treatment to cope up with the situation. Various success stories are associated with these organizations.
The behavioral treatment
it is a recent addition in the field of treatment of cocaine addiction. The behavior treatments provide long-lasting results. Various therapies are part of the inpatient drug rehab in Tennessee for acquiring desired results. There are different rewards associated with meeting goals which inspires the patients. Cognitive-behavioral therapy caters to multiple dimensions of an addicted person.
Medication: you must primarily note that there is no specific medication for treating cocaine addiction. However, medicines useful for treating other problems instead of neurological problems can help in this regard. One such example is antidepressants.
various alternative therapies have cropped up in recent times for treating cocaine addiction. It includes acupuncture, exercise, and use of herbs, hypnosis, and the like. However, a good deal of research is required to determine how effective these methods are in treating the addiction. You should consult with an expert like Steven Yohay before deciding on any type of treatment plan.
The withdrawal effect
addition to any drug has withdrawal effects associated with them. Whether it is cocaine, marijuana, or any other medication, withdrawal effects are common in all cases. However, the withdrawal effect of cocaine includes anxiety, paranoia, fatigue, hostility, agitation, sleep disturbance, and depression.
Intense discomfort is associated with the withdrawal of cocaine. The uncontrolled urge for the use of the drug is one of such withdrawal effects. The sudden craving becomes a problem for individuals who return from the treatment centers. However, a supportive family and friends circle can help a person to abstain from withdrawal symptoms. Studies have revealed that a supportive environment effectively helps an individual lead an ordinary life away from cocaine.
Your brain’s neurological systems are impacted by cocaine. Repeated cocaine use, in particular, can change the brain’s reward, memory, and decision-making processes. Addicts have trouble restraining their desires, which makes quitting more difficult.
Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin concentrations are increased by all stimulants. Drugs that are stimulant-like can prevent the movement of these neurotransmitters.
Cocaine exposure over time causes neuroadaptation. This involves tolerance and sensitization. With only a few uses, the effects of cocaine might become physically intolerable. As a result, increasing amounts of medicine are required to get the same effect.
Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction
The following are signs of cocaine addiction:
- a dependence on the substance, needing enormous doses to feel its effects
- an inability to cut back on or cease using
- withdrawal signs after stopping use
- a desire to continue using even when difficulties with one’s health occur
- putting a lot of time and money into finding cocaine
- schizophrenia and delusions
- irritation or worry
- vanishing to indulge in binge sessions
- using cocaine more frequently or for a longer time than you had intended
- attempting to reduce or quit using cocaine entirely, but failing
- putting a lot of effort into obtaining, using, or recovering from cocaine usage
- after cocaine usage is discontinued, cravings, impulses, or wants to use the drug may return.
- consuming cocaine while being behind on your obligations at work, school, or home
- despite having interpersonal issues with loved ones that are brought on or made worse by drug usage, using cocaine
- giving up significant work responsibilities, hobbies, or other past passions due to cocaine usage
- cocaine consumption while being aware that it is creating or exacerbating a physical or mental health issue
- When someone becomes tolerant of cocaine, it either means that they need a lot more of it to get the same “high” they want, or that the same amount of cocaine has a lot less of an impact
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms after abruptly stopping or significantly reducing cocaine consumption
You might wish to seek out more assessment if you or a loved one exhibits some of the aforementioned characteristics in drug-related behaviors.
you cannot deny that cocaine addiction is a complex illness that severely impacts physical and mental health. In adverse cases, it may result in premature deaths. Keeping these effects in mind, you should reach out for the most suitable treatment option near you. It is indispensable to have a supporting circle to overcome any substance abuse.
Cocaine addiction is a pressing problem that has brought millions of individuals under its shackles. The medical field is trying their level best for evolving methods for treating individuals with this substance abuse. You may choose the one that suits your case, depending upon the resources available. You may take the help of a medical practitioner to get reliable suggestions for your needs.