Cocaine is a powerfully
addictive drug. Once having tried cocaine, an individual may have
difficulty predicting or controlling the extent to which he or she
will continue to use the drug.
How is Cocaine used?
The principal routes of cocaine administration are oral, intranasal,
intravenous, and inhalation. The slang terms for these routes are,
respectively, "chewing," "snorting," "mainlining,"
"injecting," and "smoking" (including freebase
and crack cocaine). Snorting is the process of inhaling cocaine
powder through the nostrils, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream
through the nasal tissues.
Injecting releases the drug
directly into the bloodstream, and heightens the intensity of its
effects. Smoking involves the inhalation of cocaine vapor or smoke
into the lungs, where absorption into the bloodstream is as rapid
as by injection. The drug can also be rubbed onto mucous tissues.
Some users combine cocaine powder or crack with heroin in a "speedball."
Cocaine use ranges from occasional use to repeated or compulsive use,
with a variety of patterns between these extremes. There is no safe
way to use cocaine. Any route of administration can lead to absorption
of toxic amounts of cocaine, leading to acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular
emergencies that could result in sudden death. Repeated cocaine use,
by any route of administration, can produce addiction and other adverse
Cocaine abuse causes psychological problems Among people aged 12 or
older who used cocaine on 12 or more days in the past year, about
36% used cocaine more often or in larger amounts than intended, or
spent an extended period of time getting, using, or getting over the
effects of the drug. About 34% of these more frequent cocaine users
experienced psychological problems due to their cocaine use. When
subdivided by the different age groups, the sample sizes of people
who used cocaine on 12 or more days in the past year were too small
to yield reliable estimates.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects
the brain. Cocaine has been labeled the drug of the 1980s and '90s,
because of its extensive popularity and use during this period.
However, cocaine is not a new drug. In fact, it is one of the oldest
known drugs. The pure chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, has been
an abused substance for more than 100 years, and coca leaves, the
source of cocaine, have been ingested for thousands of years.
Where does Cocaine originate?
Pure cocaine was first extracted from the leaf of the Erythroxylon
coca bush, which grows primarily in Peru and Bolivia, in the mid-19th
century. In the early 1900s, it became the main stimulant drug used
in most of the tonics/elixirs that were developed to treat a wide
variety of illnesses. Today, cocaine is a Schedule II drug, meaning
that it has high potential for abuse, but can be administered by
a doctor for legitimate medical uses, such as a local anesthetic
for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries.
There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride
salt and the "freebase." The hydrochloride salt, or powdered
form of cocaine, dissolves in water and, when abused, can be taken
intravenously (by vein) or intranasally (in the nose). Freebase
refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to
make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is smokable.
Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline
powder, known as "coke," "C," "snow,"
"flake," or "blow." Street dealers generally
dilute it with such inert substances as cornstarch, talcum powder,
and/or sugar, or with such active drugs as procaine (a chemically-related
local anesthetic) or with such other stimulants as amphetamines.
User can never match their first high.
An appreciable tolerance to cocaine's high may develop, with many
addicts reporting that they seek, but fail to achieve, as much pleasure
as they did from their first experience. Some users will frequently
increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects.
While tolerance to the high can occur, users can also become more
sensitive (sensitization) to cocaine's anesthetic and convulsant
effects, without increasing the dose taken. This increased sensitivity
may explain some deaths occurring after apparently low doses of
Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly
and at increasingly high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability,
restlessness, and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid
psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and
experiences auditory hallucinations.
Cocaine is a deadly, highly addictive drug. If you know someone
that is using Cocaine you should get some help for them immediately.
Give us a call. We will help you find an appropriate placement,
even if the user is in denial.
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