Yesterday I was contacted by a close friend who had returned after rehab in Palm Beach, Florida. He had a long-term addiction to cocaine and battled years of addiction before his partner was able to convince him to get help. Something he mentioned was that had he known the dangers of the drugs before he started using it, that would have spared him a lot of grief. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the facts related to cocaine to escape the grip of the drug.
Cocaine is the second most famous illicit drug in the United States after Marijuana. It’s popular in the streets as coke, snow, crack, gold dust, flake, etc. The negative consequences of the drug continue to affect the lives of millions of users across the world. Statistics show that over one million Americans eighteen years or older use cocaine. Here are five facts related to cocaine and it’s adverse effects.
Fact 1: Cocaine is highly addictive that even a first time user can be addicted to the drug.
It is known that crack cocaine can lead to addiction even after the first time. The brain responds to cocaine by releasing dopamine. It prevents the reuptake of the released dopamine allowing it to sit in the synapse. The accumulation of high concentrations of dopamine leads to heightened neural stimulation, the “high.”
When cocaine is consumed for the first time the user can feel the following effects almost immediately;
- A feeling of intense euphoria
- Decreased appetite and sleepiness
- Feeling more mentally alert
The trick with this drug is that with its use, tolerance builds up almost immediately. Therefore every subsequent use will require more of the drug to achieve the first and initial high. Therefore it’s highly addictive and can cause a first time user to get “hooked” on the drug.
Fact 2: More than 100,000 babies are born addicted to cocaine
It’s been recorded that between ten to fifteen percent of pregnant women had used cocaine, sometimes with the combination of other drugs. Most of these females are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Fetal exposure to a hard drug like cocaine can lead to neurodevelopmental anomalies. These not only affect infant growth and early development, but they have also expressed later in the child’s’ life as behavioral and learning disabilities.
Fact 3: Cocaine can cause psychosis
Initial symptoms of psychosis include paranoia, suspicion, and delusions. Chronic use of cocaine can lead to symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, ultimately resulting in psychosis over long-term use. Also, it’s estimated that Cocaine-induced psychological symptoms contribute to violent behavior. The drugs’ mind–altering properties have lead to a majority of cocaine users ending up suiciding or in violent situations.
Fact 4: Cocaine can cause death
In the United States, thirty–one percent of drug–related overdose cases reported to have been admitted to the emergency is due to cocaine overdose. The drug is known to be the “perfect heart attack drug,” due to its effects. Cocaine overdose could result in death by heart attack or stroke. The chemical composition of cocaine plays a significant role in situations that had lead to fatalities. Furthermore, extremely high heart rate, high blood pressure, seizures among other things could lead to untimely death due to chronic use of cocaine.
Fact 5: The mix of cocaine and heroin is branded as a speedball.
The widespread use of Speed balling typically involves both drugs being injected into the bloodstream. This method gives a more powerful and longer–lasting high than consuming either of the drugs individually. Despite the misconception using both the drugs together, cancel the adverse effects of each other. Instead, they can amplify the negative effects that are caused by either drug taken alone. It’s extremely risky to combine these two substances to consume them as it pushes the body to metabolize more drugs simultaneously. Therefore, mixing these two drugs could easily lead to overdosing.