Cocaine is an illicit stimulative substance that became popular in the United States as a recreational drug during the 1970s and 1980s. Many people know cocaine by its street names, such as ‘coke’ or ‘snow.’ Cocaine drug use in the United States is still persistent with approximately 1.5 million people over the age of 12 being active cocaine users.
In addition to being highly addictive, cocaine can cause many long-term health issues. In 2014, over 900,000 Americans met the criteria that are characteristic of a cocaine dependency. This population of cocaine dependent Americans is at a severe risk for complicated health problems as well as cocaine overdose.
Forms of Cocaine
There are two primary forms of the cocaine drug: powdered cocaine and crack cocaine. The two substances have very different demographics of use, but they produce virtually the same results. The effects of using cocaine include:
- Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Convulsions and seizures
Although powdered cocaine and crack cocaine produce the same effects, there are still a number of differences in price and duration between the two substances.
- More expensive
- Users inject or snort the drug
- Effects take longer to begin
- Effects last longer
- Less expensive
- Users smoke the drug
- Effects set in almost immediately
- Effects wear off within 10 minutes
Since crack cocaine has such a short half life, users will often binge use the substance multiple times over a short period of time. Because of this, their tolerances build up very quickly so addiction occurs much faster. This also puts users at a higher risk for overdose since they may overestimate how much they need to achieve a high or may believe that using more will make the high last longer.
Symptoms of Cocaine Drug Abuse
Long-term use of cocaine in either form leads to addiction. Using cocaine over a long period of time will wear down on the body and cause permanent mental and physical damage. Long-term side effects of cocaine drug abuse include:
- Weight loss and malnutrition
- Aggression and irritability
- Tooth decay
- Heart and brain damage
- Destruction of nose tissue (if snorted)
- Kidney, liver, and lung damage
- High blood pressure
- Stroke and/or heart attacks
If someone begins experiencing these symptoms, they need medical attention as soon as possible. The only way to solve these problems will be with the help of a professional drug rehab facility. If they continue use the substance and don’t seek medical assistance, then they risk further bodily damage and even death.
Cocaine Addiction Recovery
Cocaine addiction is a serious and complicated disease that requires the aid of a cocaine addiction rehab that provides professional and comprehensive treatment programs. For many Americans, using cocaine is a dangerous habit that will lead to overdose if they don’t find treatment.