Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is constantly sending communications through its website with information about physical and mental illnesses (hhs.gov). They also provide information about alcohol and other psychoactive drugs. It is worth noting that psychoactive drugs, including cocaine, are those that alter thinking, memory, emotions, moods, feelings, and perceptions.

According to DHHS, cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Some people remember how cocaine was labeled the drug of the eighties and nineties by its popularity and widespread use in those decades. However, it is not a new drug. In fact, cocaine is one of the oldest drugs known. The pure chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, has been used for over a hundred years, and coca leaves, from which cocaine is obtained, have been ingested for thousands of years.

The effects of cocaine appear almost immediately after a single dose and disappear in minutes or hours. However, short-term physiological effects produced by cocaine include contraction of blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. When used in larger quantities (several hundred milligrams or more), the “high” is intensified and user behavior can be bizarre, erratic, and even violent. The person may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, and paranoia. Some users report feeling restless, irritable, and anxious. Deaths from cocaine use often result from cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.

When cocaine is used repeatedly and in increasing doses, it can lead to a state of irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This can cause a total episode of paranoid psychosis in which the person loses touch with reality and suffers hallucinations. For example, a person may hear voices when no one has spoken.

There are many medical complications due to cocaine use. Several types of heart disease have been linked to this drug. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, nausea, blurred vision, fever, muscle spasms, convulsions, coma, and death. When inhaled regularly, it can cause a loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and general irritation of the nasal septum. When taken (or inserted through the mouth), cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene because it reduces blood flow. It also makes the person lose appetite, which leads many users to a significant loss in weight and the development of malnutrition.

In summary, there are many negative consequences and effects when consuming cocaine. Fortunately, there are rehabilitation programs where people who are suffering from an addiction to cocaine or other drugs, including alcohol, can receive the necessary help.

Seek help if you are struggling with an addiction.

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