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Fourteen of every 100 Americans aged 12 and older have at least tried cocaine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This means you know someone who has used cocaine. The drug stimulates the nervous system, increasing energy, making people feel more social and keeping them awake. But cocaine use also comes with a wide range of dangers many people don’t consider when using the drug.
Cocaine is available as a white powder or rock form called crack. People using powder cocaine inhale, inject or smoke it. Rock cocaine abuse takes place through smoking or placing the rock in a body orifice. However cocaine use takes place, the drug is highly addictive and changes your brain chemistry and functioning.
In case someone you love uses cocaine, you need to know the warning signs. When you know the signs, you can help them get the cocaine addiction treatment they need.
Signs of cocaine use begin within a few minutes of taking the drug. The high doesn’t last long, usually only about five to 30 minutes. Smoking and injection are the fastest ways to gain a high from coke.
The cocaine high comes from dopamine recycling in the brain being blocked, leaving more dopamine in the brain than usual. Dopamine causes feelings of happiness and pleasure, so the high makes you feel very happy and energetic. People using coke are talkative, excitable, confident, have fewer inhibitions and need less food and sleep when high. After cocaine wears off, the crash leads you to eat and sleep more than usual.
Other signs of cocaine use include white powdery residue around mouth and nose. If you inject the drug, these injections leave needle marks. Smoking leads to burn marks on hands and lips. You also find signs of cocaine use through paraphernalia like syringes, pipes, and spoons left in bedrooms, bathrooms and in personal effects.
People using cocaine experience weight loss, mood swings, increased risk-taking behaviors and frequent sexual activity. Nosebleeds, dilated pupils and poor hygiene are other signs of this drug abuse. Your loved one will isolate from friends and family, experience money problems, and struggle with relationships.
People using cocaine frequently pair it with other substances, such as alcohol and heroin. Some research shows that 7% percent of all emergency department admissions for illicit drug use involve cocaine. Fourteen percent involved two drugs, with one being cocaine as part of polysubstance abuse.
Using cocaine with other drugs or alcohol causes dangerous physical and psychological side effects. Injecting a speedball, a mix of heroin and cocaine, is frequently deadly. At the least, taking these drugs together causes impaired motor functions, appetite loss, sleeplessness and blurred vision.Polysubstance abuse only multiplies the substances’ effects, causing stronger psychological effects, too.
Because cocaine changes the way the brain feels pleasure, using it for a long period of time makes it difficult to feel happy without it. Tolerance is the point when your brain needs more of the drug to feel its effects. This is your first step into cocaine addiction. After addiction begins, walking away from the drug requires professional help from a qualified rehab treatment program.
When you realize someone you love is using cocaine, they need your help. You will note their relationships changing. You will also see them struggle with school, work, family responsibilities, and other obligations. This is the downward spiral of drug use when drugs take over everyday life.
Whether you or someone you love struggles with cocaine addiction, Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida provides the help you need. Beaches Recovery is a Joint Commission accredited treatment facility providing programs for substance abuse, including:
For your loved one’s future or your own best chance of lasting recovery, call Beaches Recovery now at 866.605.0532. You can end cocaine abuse in your home, family, and life with the right help. Today is the day. Give us a call.