Cocaine is a stimulant, speeding up the heart while at the same time constricting the arteries. Cocaine thus stresses the heart and can cause an erratic rhythm which can trigger a stroke or heart attack. People do not usually die from cocaine overdoses, but can die from this heart stress. There are other effects, and becoming aware of these can help an addict decide to finally make the move to obtain drug rehab treatment.
Cocaine is most definitely addictive. When someone innocently begins using it at parties or with friends, they can quickly become addicted. This leads to a change in lifestyle as they spend all their time trying to get more of the drug to relieve their cravings.
Many times the intoxicating effects of cocaine numb a person to the disaster this drug does to his or her life. They only love the euphoria obtained with taking it, and may refuse to look at the facts about the damaging effects. If a loved one is addicted, it may be up to the parent or friend to take steps to help him or her get off this dangerous drug.
While using cocaine, the person will normally act more alert and full of energy. He may feel and act more confident than usual. His pupils will usually dilate, his nose may run and his reflexes may be quite fast. He may begin to breathe faster and get warm and sweaty. His inhibitions may seem to disappear. If he hasn’t had the drug for a while, he may get irritable and depressed. He will crave the drug in this case.
Some of the short-term effects on the body include the following:
>Increased body temperature
>Increased heart rate
If a person takes large amounts of the drug, he may feel vertigo, paranoia, have tremors or muscle twitching. He can exhibit violent behavior. Even when not using the drug over a long period, a person can suddenly die from cardiac arrest.
The effects of cocaine last anywhere from a few minutes to some hours. If snorted, the high takes a while to get going and then can last about thirty minutes. Smoking cocaine has a shorter high of five to ten minutes.
Long-term use comes from the cravings for more cocaine that users often have. Once they get a persistent craving for the drug, they will devote all time and energy to getting more.
The long-term effects of cocaine abuse are not something to ignore, although addicts will ignore them. As their tolerance increases for the drug, they will look for more, and continue to take it even when they start to feel ill or mentally diminished. Some of the long-term effects are:
>Tolerance for the drug
Depending on how the cocaine is consumed, adverse effects can vary. Snorting cocaine can result in loss of the sense of smell. The addict can get nosebleeds, hoarseness, chronically running nose and problems with swallowing. Reduced blood flow in the intestines can result in bowel gangrene. Malnourishment is common as the addict loses all interest in eating.
There are medical complications from abusing cocaine and these can lead to death. The main complication is cardiovascular effects which can lead to heart attacks. There are also neurological effects which lead to seizures or strokes. The respiratory system can be adversely affected leading to respiratory failure.
Other physical symptoms include:
Because of needle use, cocaine abusers are at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B and C. Sharing contaminated needles accounts for many cases of these diseases. Also, because judgment is impaired with drug use, risky behavior can result in reduced precautions during sex and viruses are transmitted this way. It has been reported that in the group of people who inject cocaine, between sixty-five to ninety percent have the hepatitis C virus
When a pregnant woman uses cocaine, her unborn baby is off to a very bad start. The babies of cocaine users have been reported to have generally lower birth weights, smaller heads and many times are delivered prematurely. Enough studies have not been done to determine the long-term effects, but the possibility cannot be discounted.
Since a cocaine addict may be so numbed to his or her situation, they might not search for a solution to their addiction themselves. They are very caught up in the physical and mental dependency and the cravings that drive them. It can take assistance to get them to agree to a treatment program. Intervention is where the family can hire an individual or agency to come into the home and work with the family to get the person to go to rehab. This method can be quite effective.
There are a number of drug rehab treatments in any city in the United States. But which ones are truly effective. Someone can spend a lot of money trying various rehabs and not find success. We can find a rehab that is right for your loved one. We also can find you effective intervention if that is needed. We will work with you and follow up and get your loved one into recovery.