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Cocaine

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant that provokes feelings of euphoria and hyperactiveness. It does this through interactions with the body’s central nervous system.

Cocaine comes from the coca plant and is usually powdery. This stimulant is highly addictive and can cause mental and physical issues.

Cocaine is known as coke or powder on the streets. It can be consumed in various ways. This includes

  • Orally- By licking, rubbing on the gums, or dissolving them into water
  • Through injection
  • Inhalation
  • Snorting
  • Smoking

What are the Effects of Abusing Cocaine?

Just using cocaine can have tremendous adverse effects on your health. Abusing cocaine has a direct impact on your heart.

It can lead to hypertension, cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems.

Other health issues it causes include

  • Infection of heart valves
  • Inflammation of heart valves
  • Myocarditis
  • Aortic rupture
  • Kidney disease
  • Reduced cognitive functions

Depending on how cocaine is taken, you can also be affected by hepatitis or HIV.

What are the Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction?

There are long and short-term symptoms associated with cocaine addiction or abuse.

Short-Term Symptoms
  • Hyper activeness or intense happiness
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Slow movements
Long-Term Symptoms
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Nose bleeds
  • Talkative
  • Weight loss
  • Cocaine residue on their noses
  • Financial mismanagement
  • Social isolation
  • Recklessness
  • Insomnia
  • Bowel decay
  • Intense craving for cocaine

What are the Dangers of Mixing Cocaine with Other Drugs?

Taking cocaine with other drugs can cause a lot of complications and compound effects. For example, cocaine is a stimulant that makes its users feel high while heroin is a depressant that represses these feelings.

When both substances are taken together, it can lead to blurred vision and impaired or slower motor functions. In extreme situations, it can lead to seizures, heart attacks, or other problems.

This usually happens when there is an overdose. If you are mixing cocaine with other drugs, seek medical help immediately.

How is Cocaine Addiction Diagnosed?

Cocaine addiction is usually diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional. The doctor might ask you questions about your health history and symptoms. Then, a physical examination might be conducted.

In addition, blood, saliva, and urine tests may be conducted to rule out other conditions. Diagnosis follows the guidelines meted out in DSM-5.

Detox Program

The process of removing all traces of cocaine from the body is called detoxing. Detox programs last for 3-7 days.

Patients will experience withdrawal symptoms after detoxing. These symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Agitation
  • Nightmares
  • Intense craving

Withdrawal symptoms can last from some weeks to months. The exact length varies and depends on the length and severity of the addiction.

Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used by therapists to change the habits and thoughts of the patient.

People who go through therapy are better equipped in handling their addiction. This reduces the chances of relapse.

Support Groups

Support groups can give patients the strength and encouragement needed when recovering. Most rehab centers have support groups.

When Should You Contact a Doctor?

If you are experiencing any symptoms of cocaine addiction, see your doctor immediately. Also, seek medical help if you have abused cocaine.

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