Cocaine is a powerful addictive stimulant abused by 3.6 million Americans and requires treatment at a cocaine rehab center.
Coca leaves, the source of cocaine, have been ingested for thousands of years, but pure cocaine hydrochloride has only been abused for around one hundred years.
Two forms of cocaine are abused on the street: hydrochloride salt and freebase.
Cocaine is called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow, sold as a fine, white, crystalline powder. Drug dealers generally dilute it with cornstarch, talcum powder, and/or sugar. It is also sometimes made with active drugs like procaine or other stimulants like amphetamines, and combine with heroin to create a "speedball."
Cocaine is taken orally, intranasally, intravenously and inhalation. There is no safe way to use cocaine. It can lead to acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies that could result in sudden death. Repeated cocaine use can lead to addiction and other adverse health consequences.
Crack, the freebase form of cocaine that is smokable is much more potent than other forms of cocaine, as it is cooked into a more concentrated version. When crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in less than 10 seconds. Crack cocaine is one of the most addictive street drugs available.
Cocaine is extremely detrimental to the body; the consequences can be permanent damage, addiction, and death. The effects, short-term and long-term, of cocaine abuse can be devastating.
After the high goes away, a crack user will be left with harsh side effects: depression, paranoia, mood swings, and anxiety.
Long-term crack cocaine effects include: severe depression, hallucination, delirium, constant restlessness, heart and respiratory problems, and even death because of cardiac arrest or seizures and respiratory failure.
Short-term physiological effects of cocaine abuse are increased energy, decreased appetite, mental alertness, constricted blood vessels, increased temperature, heart rate, high blood pressure, and dilated pupils.
Large amounts of cocaine may lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior, tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia.
Cocaine is powerfully addictive, even after trying cocaine one time. Cocaine and crack addicts say they can never derive as much pleasure from it as they did the first time. They usually take more and more crack and cocaine to try to reach more intense and longer lasting euphoric effects. A cocaine user sometimes binges, increasing the dose each time. This causes increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. It can lead to full-blown paranoid psychosis, as the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations. The lifestyle of the cocaine addict is often characterized by: lying, cheating, ctealing, missing days at work, denying the use of cocaine.
Since cocaine is a highly addictive drug, it can lead to major medical complications and health problems, such as cardiovascular effects: disturbances in heart rhythm and heart attacks; respiratory effects like chest pain and respiratory failure; neurological effects including seizure, headaches and strokes; gastrointestinal complications, such as abdominal pain and nausea. Other physical symptoms include convulsions, nausea, blurred vision, fever, muscle spasms, and coma. Appetite suppression is a dangerously popular effect for those who are trying to lose or maintain their weight, resulting in serious weight loss and malnourishment.
Combining cocaine and alcohol produces a potentially dangerous interaction. Cocaine abusers risk catching other infectious diseases like HIV / AIDS and hepatitis, due to sharing contaminated needles and paraphernalia. Indirect transmission can also occur when an HIV-infected mother transmits it to her unborn baby, more than 60% of new AIDS cases are women. The use of cocaine reduces a user’s ability to make good lifestyle choices. The cocaine habit may result in taking more risks, such as unprotected sex and trading sex for drugs.
Crack cocaine is still a serious problem in the United States. Many researchers believe that crack cocaine will continue to be a popular drug since it is relatively easy to obtain.
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