Major Effects of cocaine use on health

Major Effects of cocaine use on health

Cocaine is an immensely popular drug of abuse. It is available around the globe through street names such as coke, blows, and snow. This psychoactive, stimulant drug is highly addictive. Unlike other drug classes such as alcohol, opiates, or benzos, which are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, cocaine is a CNS stimulant. Consequently, cocaine is often co-abused with other drugs.

A popular variant of cocaine is crack-cocaine. It is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that is derived from powdered cocaine using a simple conversion process. Crack emerged as a popular drug in the mid-1980s. It is favored because it produces an immediate high and because it is easy and inexpensive to produce–rendering it readily available and affordable.

Crack is produced by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of water and ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The mixture is boiled until a solid substance forms. The solid is removed from the liquid, dried, and then broken into the chunks (rocks) that are sold as crack cocaine. Crack typically is available as rocks. Crack rocks are white (or off-white) and vary in size and shape. Crack is nearly always smoked. Smoking crack cocaine delivers large quantities of the drug to the lungs, producing an immediate and intense euphoric effect.

Cocaine, in any form, is a powerfully addictive drug, and addiction seems to develop more quickly when the drug is smoked–as crack is–than snorted–as powdered cocaine typically is.

Cocaine has had some medical uses previously.  It was used by medical professionals as a pain reliever and anesthetic. However, this controlled substance is being abused by a large number of individuals. The highly addictive nature of the drug causes many neurological changes in the brain and causes a person to form a dependency on the substance. Cocaine addiction is dangerous and individuals addicted to cocaine must seek treatment immediately. Always access treatment at a professional cocaine rehab in New Jersey to overcome the disease of addiction.

Cocaine withdrawal can be downright nasty, especially the crash. The cravings are intense and the crash drives a person to extreme depression. While there are no established detox protocols to deal with cocaine withdrawal, unlike that for opiate withdrawal, still professional detox centers in New Jersey can greatly alleviate the impact of cocaine withdrawal and ease the path to recovery.

What exactly is cocaine?

The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4 and the drug is considered to be very powerful and extremely addictive. Most commonly found and sold as the white powder, the substance is illegal to use recreationally in most parts of the world.

People tend to use the drug more often and use higher quantities to achieve the same high and pleasure the drug gives. Cocaine works by affecting dopamine levels in the brain which can cause an individual to feel euphoria. This feeling of euphoria is short-lived and people tend to use more cocaine to achieve the same state of mind again.

Effects of cocaine on health: 

Any form of addiction, especially ones which include using drugs and other substances is extremely harmful. Cocaine is no different and prolonged use of the controlled substance has many adverse effects on an individual’s mental and physical health. The signs of harm caused by cocaine are not noticed in the initial stages so people tend to think it is manageable. With time dependency on the substance rises and the signs of harm become clearer.

The mental obsession caused by the use of cocaine causes an individual to become heavily dependent on the substance to even be functional in their daily lives. People often tend to lie, cheat and even steal to attain the substance and feel the same rush again. All such mental obsessions lead an individual to a very dark place where everything seems diabolical and functionality stops existing.

The mental effects of the use of the drug have been known to be extremely harmful and can take a long time to regain normalcy. The physical damage caused by the drug is equally worse and with time it becomes clearer as the human body shows signs of damage. Loss of appetite and a major decrease in body weight has been reported in many users of the drug worldwide. Other physical issues such as heart problems and respiratory issues have also been seen in a large number of people worldwide.

Nasal passages are also greatly harmed by prolonged use of cocaine, this causes uncontrollable bleeding through the nostrils. The bleeding can happen at random and could pose a great risk to an individual’s overall health. Extremely high quantities of cocaine can prove to be fatal and a great number of people have overdosed on the substance.

Medical uses of cocaine: 

Cocaine is available in a large number of countries worldwide as a prescription drug that comes in many forms and also can be used as local anesthesia. Surgeries of various body parts such as the eye, ear, and throat are carried forward by using cocaine in various forms.

Cocaine is often used as nasal sprays before medical surgeries and is also seen in the form of solutions. The drug continues to be a schedule II-controlled substance and the sale of the drug is illegal and the recreational use of the drug is also prohibited.

Side effects of long-term cocaine use: 

  • Sense of smell: the sense of smell in individuals is greatly harmed by using excessive cocaine. People might not have a strong sense of smell after cocaine use as odor receptors are greatly damaged by the drug.
  • Cognitive abilities: cognitive abilities are also affected by using coke for a long period of time. People are reported to have shorter attention spans and the decision-making ability of an individual is also greatly affected.
  • Lung damage: lung damage is also reported in many cases around the world, using cocaine can cause various tears in parts of an individual’s lungs and can cause internal bleeding.

Final Overview

Cocaine has a rich and deep medical history but for a long time now the drug has been abused by a large number of people around the globe. This abuse of the drug has caused many people to get addicted to the substance. With the help of a cocaine detox center in New Jersey, you can get rid of cocaine addiction and bring normalcy to your life again. It’s always advisable to never abuse any controlled substance or drug and only use it when prescribed by a doctor.


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Stages of Cocaine Withdrawal

Deciding to stop abusing cocaine is an extremely courageous move. The decision to quit cocaine is daunting because severe withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. The good news is that many addiction treatment facilities in NJ can help with cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

It is always better to know what to expect, as treating cocaine withdrawal is not easy and could be uncomfortable for the patient. Educating yourself about the various stages of cocaine withdrawal in advance helps a lot in preparing yourself mentally for the process.

What is Cocaine Withdrawal?
Cocaine withdrawal is a result of stopping abrupt use of the substance. The person’s body has become chemically dependent on cocaine and it reacts in adverse ways once they stop consuming cocaine. Someone who is experiencing cocaine withdrawal might be prone to:

● Headache
● Anxiety
● Lack of concentration
● Muscle pain
● Mood swings/crash

Why do People Experience Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms?
When someone starts consuming cocaine at regular intervals, their body becomes chemically dependent on it. Even someone who consumes coffee at regular intervals feels withdrawal symptoms when they quit drinking coffee or switch to decaffeinated coffee because their body has become dependent on caffeine. Similarly, cocaine creates dependence, but it is far more acute than the one created by caffeine. All addictive substances, including caffeine and cocaine, create dependence by altering the reward pathways in the brain. The brain releases dopamine, a pleasure giving neurotransmitter, in response to pleasurable activities such as eating food, having sex, or indulging in hobbies. Most drugs and alcohol stimulate the brain to release large quantities of dopamine that previously pleasurable activities cannot match. Frequent use of drugs or alcohol teaches the brain to release dopamine in response to stimulation from drugs and alcohol. So, the brain stops responding adequately to previously pleasurable activities such as eating food, having sex, or indulging in hobbies. This creates dependence as the person abusing substances regularly does not feel normal until the brain is stimulated to produce large enough quantities of dopamine. Therefore, they experience cravings when they stop using addictive substances and go back, time and again, to their drug of choice in order to get a fix and feel normal.

However, this does not mean that there is no way to stop using drugs or alcohol and get clean. The dependence of the body on cocaine and cocaine withdrawal symptoms can be addressed by addiction treatment professionals in NJ through a combination of medication and therapy. You don’t have to depend on will power alone to combat addiction.

Stages of Cocaine Withdrawal
Although temporary, cocaine withdrawal can be highly uncomfortable. The intensity of cocaine withdrawal and duration may vary from person to person depending on intensity and frequency of use. Here are three stages of cocaine withdrawal:

Stage 1: Cravings
Cocaine can produce an intense high and individuals get addicted when they “chase” the high. After being snorted cocaine high peaks in 20-30 minutes and could last up to 90 minutes. Cocaine has a short half-life, which means the high wears off quickly and cravings set in immediately. Therefore, treatment needs to be accessed immediately.

Stage 2: Crash
If an individual addicted to cocaine does not give in to the intense cravings it results in a cocaine crash. The cocaine crash can be described as turbo-charged alcohol hangover. The cocaine crash phase can last from a few hours to a few days. During this stage, individuals experience excessive fatigue which may result in a long sleep cycle. Individuals may also experience depression, anxiety, agitation and paranoia.

Stage 3: Suicidal Ideation
A person addicted to cocaine may feel worthless when they are not experiencing a high. This may lead them to experience suicidal thoughts. So, treatment for cocaine should address psychological symptoms in addiction to physical symptoms.

Treatment for Addiction to Cocaine is Effective
Like for addiction to all other substances, treatment for addiction to cocaine is available in NJ and can be accessed from any town – be it Colts Neck, Basking Ridge, Alpine, Paramus, Plainfield, Brunswick, Clinton, Newton, Toms River, Asbury Park, Long Branch or Red Bank in New Jersey.

Although there are no medications yet that directly address cocaine withdrawal symptoms, cravings can be alleviated and psychological symptoms addressed through medications. However, the person addicted to cocaine needs to be willing to enter treatment in order to get the help they need to successfully enter recovery.

The thought of quitting cocaine use may daunting due to fear of facing severe withdrawal symptoms. However, in reality, it is not as challenging as it seems, because high-quality addiction treatment centers in New Jersey will work with the patient in order to ease and address the most feared cocaine withdrawal symptom – cocaine crash.


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Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant that is native to South America. Cocaine is an stimulant and it is addictive. Cocaine has valid health care uses, as a local anesthesia for some surgeries, however, recreational use of cocaine is illegal. Cocaine is sold on the street as fine, white crystal powder. Street dealers usually mix it with other similar looking substances, such as talcum powder, corn starch, or all-purpose flour in order to dilute the potency of cocaine and increase profits. Drug dealers may also mix it with other substances of abuse, such as stimulant amphetamine, synthetic opioids, fentanyl, or natural opioids, heroin. Mixing substances increases the potency of the drug and could result in overdose or even death, as the user is not aware of the “cocktail” in the product he/she is buying. Sometimes, cocaine is process by drug dealers to make a rock crystal (also called “freebase cocaine” or “crack cocaine”). The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound of the crystal rocks when they are heated.

Cocaine can be snorted, dissolved and injected into the blood stream or rubbed onto the gums. Crack cocaine is heated to produce vapors that are inhaled. Some users also inject a combination of cocaine and heroin, called “Speedball.”
Individuals who abuse cocaine often indulge in binges – abusing the drug repeatedly within a short period of time and in increasingly higher doses. Such rapid intake of cocaine helps to maintain the high.

Like most other substances of abuse, cocaine sharply increases the levels of dopamine in brain circuits, delivering euphoria. Usually dopamine recycles back into the cell that released it, which helps to shut off the signal between nerve cells. But, cocaine blocks this from happening. As a result, large amounts of dopamine builds up between two nerve cells causing a flood of dopamine in the brain’s reward circuits. Such an intense high, drives a strong addiction. Like other drugs of abuse, tolerance to the drug builds and increasingly larger doses of cocaine are needed to achieve a similar high.

The addiction can be both physical and psychological. Short-term physical effects include sharply increased happiness and energy, mental alertness, hypersensitivity to sight, sound and touch, irritability, paranoia (unreasonable distrust). Psychologically it could lead to higher self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.

Individuals suffering an addiction to cocaine can potentially overdose on cocaine. So accessing treatment for cocaine dependence is highly recommended. On the positive side, individuals who suffer from cocaine addiction in New Jersey have plenty of treatment options. Whether they live in Marlton or Cherry Hill, Long Branch or Monmouth Junction, New Brunswick or East Brunswick, Sayreville or Montville, Union or Bridgewater, Califon or Phillipsburg access to treatment is fast and easy. International Day against Drug Abuse. Young human hand trying to reach cooked heroin spoon on grungy concrete floor. Drugs addiction and withdrawal symptoms concept. Copy space.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms

The initial signs of cocaine addiction are rather mild as you may not realise that you are becoming addicted until it turns serious. The severity of the addiction depends on the amount of cocaine ingested and frequency of abuse.
As always denial in the initial stages of addiction is common. Signs of addiction include:

● Over excitement
● Dilated pupils
● Irregular sleeping patterns
● Risky and dangerous choices
● Major mood swings
● Paranoia and anxiety

Individuals who abuse cocaine regularly at frequent intervals may exhibit cocaine withdrawal symptoms such as:

● Problems in breathing and frequent chest pains.
● Borderline serious depression and including suicidal ideation.
● Isolating behaviors.
* Fatigue.
● High body temperature and high blood pressure.
● Dilation of pupils and septum damage.
● Nausea and seizures
● For pregnant women, excess usage of cocaine can also lead to serious complications in the baby and may result in a miscarriage.
● Unstable thoughts and poor decision making.
● Heart problems or stroke.
● Financial issues.

Although it is not easy, addiction to cocaine can be overcome, with treatment.

Treatment for cocaine addiction

Unlike opiates such as fentanyl, heroin or opioid pain pills, there is no medication to directly address cocaine withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Treatment for addiction to cocaine is focused on managing the “crash” and support medications that may provide a level of comfort from cocaine withdrawal. Such treatment provides considerable relief to individuals suffering from an addiction to cocaine.


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