Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use
Cocaine is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the central nervous system and leaves users with a feeling of exhilaration. Cocaine abuse can be extremely dangerous. The drug is a very powerful stimulant that affects both the brain and the heart. A person who uses this drug has an overall feeling of supremacy and euphoria, bursts of energy, and an increasing sense of alertness. He or she will talk much and fast and will have dilated pupils. But other feelings such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability and paranoia may occur and may lead to violent behavior.
The most noticeable signs of cocaine use are mostly present shortly after it is used, and the length of the high varies based on how the drug was ingested and the level of tolerance a person has built up. Highs generally only last an hour or less.
Extended cocaine use can bring about many long term effects. When this occurs, cocaine users need to increase the amount of cocaine they use along with the frequency of its use, which can lead to serious addiction and health issues. Snorting cocaine may cause loss of smell, nose bleed, damage of the sinuses and perforation of the nasal septum. It can also cause ulcers, perforation of the stomach and intestines, and kidney damage and failure, arrhythmia and a heart attack. In addition cocaine can damage pathways in the brain triggering seizures and stroke. When attempting to stop using cocaine, professional counseling should be sought.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a derivative of the coca leaf, which comes from the coca bush located in Peru and Bolivia. Classified as a schedule II drug because it is highly addictive. There are two forms of cocaine which are produced by different chemical processes – powdered cocaine (hydrochloride salt) and crack cocaine. Powdered cocaine will be discussed in this article and will be called cocaine.
Cocaine is considered to be the drug of the rich and famous and is called the caviar of street drugs. It is an addictive drug with effects which start almost immediately after the intake and wear off in thirty minutes to two hours. It can cause sudden death and is responsible for more ER visits than any other illegal drug.
Cocaine users develop tolerance which means that higher and higher doses over time are required to get the same effect.Cocaine also causes addiction with severe withdrawal symptoms which occur if a person stops using this drug. These symptoms may include severe craving, anxiety and depression, inability to feel pleasure, difficulty in concentrating, suicidal thoughts, pains, tremors, chills and aches.
How Is Cocaine Used?
The most common method of using cocaine is snorting. Users snort “lines” of cocaine. It can be smoked, rubbed onto the mucous tissue (the most frequently onto the gums), and injected into the bloodstream.
Other names: Coke, Blow, Nose Candy, Sniff, Snow, C
Parent CRAFT Resources
- Drug Use Signs and Symptoms – Parent CRAFT
Find out if your teen͛’s behavior is normal or troublesome.