Cocaine: First Use, Cravings, and Addiction

Lines of cocaineCocaine, according to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, is the second most trafficked illegal drug worldwide. This extremely addictive drug can be snorted, smoked, or even injected. Snorting gives an immediate high for a couple minutes while smoking and injecting produces a more intense high that can last for a few minutes.

Read on to learn more about this highly addictive and harmful substance.

Immediate and Short-Term Effects

Drug addiction treatment centers in Utah note that at first, cocaine provides users more euphoria and energy, along with intense mental alertness. It causes the brain to release more dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the brain. Higher levels of dopamine levels produce the intense feeling or highs related to cocaine consumption. Short-term effects include increased heart rate, extreme happiness, and paranoia.

First and Continued Use

The sad part about cocaine is that an individual can develop cravings after the first use. Continued use of the drug can result in tolerance or the need to take more cocaine to feel high. This can lead to heightened risk of heart attack. Those who take it by snorting can damage their nostrils or lose their sense of smell. Injecting and sharing needles, meanwhile, increases the risk of AIDS or HIV.

Long-Term Effects and Overdose

Taking large amounts of the drug can make people irritable to behave erratically. Some may feel extreme physical exhaustion or have a headache and mental health issues, such as psychosis. Other long-term effects include nosebleeds, abdominal pain, and severe bowel decay. Individuals can also overdose on the drug, which can be fatal. It can also cause serious health problems, such as:

Strokes

Seizures

Heart attack

Irregular heartbeat

Quitting drug or cocaine use is very challenging. The person may need to be admitted to a rehabilitation facility or a therapeutic residence and undergo different types of treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. There may be no approved medicines that can treat addiction to cocaine, but support and other solutions are available to help the users quit.