Cocaine

The highly addictive central nervous system stimulant, cocaine, is derived from the leaves of the cocoa plant. Cocoa leaves were used in ancient times by the Incans to decrease appetite, as well as to fight altitude sickness.

Eventually, the substance cocaine hydrochloride was developed from cocoa leaves in the nineteenth century.  Cocaine hydrochloride was then used in certain products and medicines.  In fact, cocaine hydrochloride was the active ingredient in Coca Cola until the negative effects of the drug were brought to light.

Cocaine hydrochloride is obviously no longer the active ingredient in Coca Cola, however, it’s presence in the drug culture is a widespread problem for society today.

The Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 banned the non-prescription use of cocaine products.  This act did not eliminate cocaine abuse, but only placed strict regulations on cocaine classifying it as a dangerous narcotic drug with the same consequences and legal punishments as drugs like heroin.

Cocaine is one of the most commonly abused drugs today.  Street coke is intentionally contaminated or “cut” during the preparation.  This gives dealers the ability to dilute the substance so that they can increase their profit.  Coke can be anywhere from 1% to 95% pure today.  Cocaine addicts “copping,” or buying drugs on the street, never really know what they will get.

This white powdery substance is usually snorted, but can be inhaled, smoked or injected.  After doing a line of coke an individual experiences a feeling of euphoria, mental clarity, alertness, and a decreased appetite.

A high from snorting coke may take about five minutes to kick in, and the rush will last about fifteen minutes to half an hour.  As a person crashes from a coke high, they will experience extreme agitation and paranoia.

Cocaine addicts will crave more of the drug when the drug is wearing off, or they are “coming down.”  This crash and intense craving for more explains the psychologically addicting component to the drug.

Cocaine addiction is a serious and growing problem in America today.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “About 1 and 6 Americans (15% in 2007) have tried cocaine by the age of 30, and 7% have tried it by their senior year in high school.”

Cocaine Slang Terms:

  • Big C
  • blow
  • candy
  • coke
  • coca
  • flake
  • lady
  • nose candy
  • snow
  • status stimulant
  • toot
  • white lady
  • yayo
  • yuppie drug

Cocaine Side Effects:

People generally react differently to the effects of cocaine.  Short and long term effects of cocaine vary depending upon the amount used.

Short term effects of increased energy and productivity are sometimes noticeable, but they are also the reason people get hooked so easily on the drug.  Many individuals begin abusing cocaine because they feel like they can get more done.  This increased level of energy seems great in the beginning of a cocaine addict’s career, but the addictive properties of this drug and the choices individuals make under the influence to get more of the drug can be devastating.

Coke acts as an appetite suppressant, which makes the drug appealing to those who want to lose weight or keep a slim physique.  It’s not uncommon for cocaine addicts to go long periods of time without eating.  Many fashion models, as well as professional ballerinas struggle with cocaine addiction.

Using cocaine at high doses for a long period of time raises some very serious health risks and concerns.  The most dangerous long term effects of cocaine are specific changes to brain function and chemistry.

Cocaine related deaths are not always due to high dose intoxication.  The majority of long term cocaine users are subject to medical problems that lead to death.

Cocaine has numerous physiological and psychological side effects.  The most common effects related to cocaine include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased temperature
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Insomnia
  • Increased energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Euphoria
  • Short-term mental clarity
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Headache
  • Cocaine induced psychosis
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Lowers seizure threshold
  • Coma

If you or someone you care about needs help with cocaine addiction, please call (800) 290-7150. All calls are confidential.

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