There are many types of addictive substances, some of which have devastating health risks. Help can be just a call away. If you or someone you know is in immediate need consider reaching out
Cocaine is a substance that boosts dopamine doses to the brain; dopamine is a hormone responsible for euphoria, movement and processing rewards in the mind. Because of its pleasurable effects, cocaine is very dangerous and its users are subject to abuse and dependence. Cocaine abuse increases the risk of psychiatric problems, diseases and death.
Cocaine is attractive for recreational use due to the effects of a dopamine boost, an increase in energy and motivation. Cocaine can be smoked, snorted or injected into the veins.
Signs and symptoms
Common symptoms of cocaine abuse include:
- Increase agitation
- Overdramatic enthusiasm
- Dropped inhibition
- Increased cold-like symptoms and frequent nosebleeds
- Involuntary movements
- A change in concentration or focus
Cocaine has serious consequences, but few are as serious as damage to the heart muscle. Cocaine could cause cardiomyopathy, which involves the death of cells in the heart muscles. Injected cocaine can also lead to inflamed internal organs.
These microscopic effects add up to severe problems like heart attacks and arryhymias, which can in tern lead to death. Other variations on cardiotoxicity include:
- Inflamed heart muscle tissue
- Ruptured aorta
- A decline in quality of life due to reduced heart function and excess blood loss.
Damage due to cocaine can also induce stroke or brain damage because the flow to the blood vessels in the brain has deterioriated.
Cocaine abuse is linked to kidney damage as well. Prolonged use and abuse inflames and irritates the microstructures in the kidneys.
Cocain and Brain Changes
As time goes on, abusing cocaine damages brain chemistry. These changes are linked to an increased ordge for cocaine as the addiction progresses and will likely include a number of radical behavioral changes, including:
- Erratic behavior
- Symptoms of psychosis
- Newly emerging Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Even “recreational” users risk brain damage. A milder use of cocaine leads to more uninhibited behavior, a lower ability to control movement, slower reaction time and lower focus. Over time, attention and decision-making abilities deteriorate.
Cocaine users risk bloodborne disease like HIV or hepatitis C when cocaine is injected, especially when being irresponsible during the injection process.
Cocaine abuse statistics
According to the 2015 national survey on drug use and health:
Nearly 5 million people reported having used cocaine at some point in 2015. Approximately 1 million people said they had used it at some point during their life.
About 1.75 more men than women abused cocaine in 2015.
Additionally, the Drug Abuse Warning Network discovered cocaine what’s the most commonly illicit substance when it came to emergency room visits in 2011; the substance was involved in 40% of all cases. To learn more about this, visit our article Cocaine History & Statistics.
Cocaine abuse in teens
Drug abuse is surprisingly commonplace in teens ages 13 to 18. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future study, nearly 2% of eighth-graders, three 10th graders, 4% of 12 graders reported cocaine use at some point in their life.
Starting an addiction as a young person increases the risk of long-term cocaine abuse. Cocaine abuse in young people is thought also to be linked to increased legal and psychiatric problems as time goes on. Starting the addiction young can also affect the effectiveness up Rehabilitation and treatment.
To keep your teenager from falling into this trap, it’s important to educate them at an early age about the substance and substance abuse and to continue talking about it. It’s important that they know the dangers of illicit and prescription drugs, in your responsibility to keep an eye on their behavior, their friends, and any sort of dramatic behavioral changes.
While cocaine is an addictive drug used by many, there are various treatment options that will help a person overcome this addiction and lead a sober life.
Recovery from addiction is not a one-time process. It’s a lifelong journey for the addict and their loved ones. By knowing and understanding some of the obstacles that are most commonly faced throughout the journey, the support system the recovering addict has built can assist them in living a sober, cleaner life.
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