Five Things You Should Know About Cocaine
Let’s face it — you’ve probably heard of cocaine.
It’d be pretty hard to remain in the dark that long. Cocaine has been the subject of movies, songs, and stories for many years.
But just because you’ve heard of it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what it looks like and what it does.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cocaine is currently a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high potential for misuse but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical reasons, such as local anesthesia (loss of feeling) for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries.
After reading this blog, you’ll be able to identify what cocaine looks like, how it affects the body, and more.
1. Cocaine Comes in Different Forms
Cocaine, a stimulant, comes from the coca leaves that are native to South America.
Regular cocaine is usually found in the form of a white powdery substance. In its other form, known as crack cocaine, or just crack, its texture is similar to that of a rock. Crack can come in a variety of colors such as shades of white, yellow, and even pink.
In its powdered form, cocaine is usually snorted or mixed with water and injected, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Crack is typically smoked through a glass pipe.
Common names for cocaine include coca, crank, flake, snow, coke, and soda cot.
2. Cocaine Can Be Addictive
Many who ingest cocaine do so in hopes of achieving a sense of happiness and excitement.
The NIH says, “Cocaine increases levels of the natural chemical messenger dopamine (a feel-good chemical) in brain circuits related to the control of movement and reward. Normally, dopamine recycles back into the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between nerve cells. However, cocaine prevents dopamine from being recycled, causing large amounts to build up in the space between two nerve cells, stopping their normal communication.” The result is cocaine’s “high.”
With continued consumption, the body may become more tolerant to the effects of cocaine, which may lead to the ingestion of more frequent and stronger doses. This, in turn, can lead to addiction.
In the short term, those who consume cocaine may feel happy, irritable, alert, or paranoid (afraid people want to hurt them).
Some of the other possible effects include respiratory distress, nosebleeds, irregular heartbeat, muscle twitches, constricted blood vessels.
3. You Can Overdose on Cocaine
Overdosing on cocaine is possible and very dangerous. In some instances, a cocaine overdose can even be life-threatening.
One of the most frightening things about cocaine is that fatal overdoses can occur the first time cocaine is consumed or unexpectedly after.
According to the NIH, “Some of the most frequent and severe health consequences of overdose are irregular heart rhythm, heart attacks, seizures, and strokes. Other symptoms of cocaine overdose include difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, high body temperature, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there), and extreme agitation or anxiety.”
In some cases, to address a cocaine overdose, blood flow may need to be restored to the heart if a heart attack occurred, oxygen-rich blood may need to be restored to the brain if a stroke occurred, and seizures may need to be stopped.
If you believe you or someone you know has overdosed on cocaine, call 911 immediately.
4. Cocaine Addiction Can Be Spotted
Whether it’s you or a loved one battling cocaine misuse, being able to identify when misuse becomes an addiction is crucial.
Signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Wanting to stop consuming cocaine but being unable to
- Spending large amounts of time consuming cocaine
- Choosing cocaine over activities you once enjoyed
- Cocaine is affecting your personal and professional life
- Financial problems due to cocaine
You may also experience withdrawal if you suddenly stop ingesting cocaine. Withdrawal symptoms may include fatigue, depression, thinking problems, and problems with sleep.
5. A Residential Treatment Program Can Help You Overcome Your Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine doesn’t have to control your life. You can live a life free of cocaine.
If you’re looking for cocaine addiction treatment, that treatment plan should be designed just for you and your needs.
Most residential stays at a treatment facility typically last around a month. The first seven days are used for the detoxification process followed by three weeks of cocaine rehabilitation.
During the detox process, medications are available if needed to help make the process much easier.
The three rehab weeks will focus on the psychological aspects of your addiction, including finding the root causes of your addiction, learning to manage any cravings you may have, and retraining your brain to live a life without cocaine.
Residential treatment facilities typically offer individual therapy, group therapy, holistic (whole-person) therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (to teach you how to deal with cravings and high-risk situations), and family counseling.
During treatment, you may also discover you have a co-occurring disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the coexistence of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder is known as having co-occurring disorders. Many people who have a substance use disorder don’t even know they have a mental health disorder.
In a professional setting, you will be able to dedicate 100% of your time to recovery. This, in turn, can reduce your likelihood of relapse.
Get the Treatment You Deserve Today
Northpoint Washington offers personalized treatment for every patient.
Northpoint Washington admissions staff will be there to help you get started with treatment the right way. They are there to make sure your journey to recovery starts off as smoothly as possible.
To learn more, call (888) 663-7106.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the signs of cocaine addiction?
Those addicted to cocaine may find they are unable to stop consuming cocaine even though they want to, cocaine is affecting their work and family life, they have cravings for the drug, and they are spending large amounts of money on cocaine.
What color is cocaine?
While cocaine is typically white in its powder form, crack cocaine can come in a variety of colors, such as shades of white, yellow, or pink.
What does cocaine do to the brain?
Cocaine increases levels of dopamine (a feel-good chemical) in the brain circuits related to the control of movement and reward. Over time, more cocaine may need to be ingested to achieve the desired effects. This is dangerous and can lead to addiction.