Cocaine (benzoylmethylecgonine) is an addictive drug and a powerful CNS stimulant. It serves as an appetite suppressant and it is known for its topical anesthetic effect. The sale and possession of this drug is strictly limited but it has remained the most abused illegal drug in the US. It is still the favorite recreational drug and the majority of drug-related emergency cases in the hospitals are due to cocaine abuse.
Street names of Cocaine: Blow, Snow, C, Crack, Coke, Flake
How is the Cocaine administered?
The most commonly used routes of administration are injecting, snorting and smoking.
Effects of Cocaine consumption
Cocaine stimulates the CNS causing feelings of pleasure, euphoria, sensory stimulation and amplified reception of message. It causes reduced fatigue, mental alertness and augmented energy. It also produces heightened intensity of pleasure which is beyond the normal experiences. In case of chronic use or overdose, the drug can cause psychosis, aggressive and anti-social behaviors, seizures or death. The reactions depend on the dosage and the user’s level of tolerance.
Impact on the mind/body and health risks
The following are the adverse effects of cocaine abuse:
- Loss of the sense of smell
- Chronically runny nose
- Problems with swallowing
- Severe paranoia
- Pupil dilation
- Increased body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure.
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite leading to malnutrition
- Cardiac arrest
Signs of Cocaine abuse
Signs of cocaine addiction include overwhelming feelings of irrepressible need for drugs in spite of its harmful effects. The user becomes psychologically dependent on cocaine.
Common treatment options
Drug detoxification is vital in removing the harmful chemicals from the body of an addict. The cleansing process prevents possible relapse to occur. Individualized treatment plan, cognitive-behavioral therapy, 12-step programs and other forms of substance addiction management provided by health care professionals are also used.
Cocaine withdrawal/detox symptoms
There are no significant physical signs of cocaine withdrawal compared to other drugs. The common sign of withdrawal is the user’s intensified craving for cocaine upon quitting.
Other symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Extreme suspicion
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Extreme physical cravings
- Suicidal ideation