Everyone knows that cocaine is an illegal and dangerously addictive drug. It is also plagued by myths that, over time, have been disguising it to the point that its true nature has been confused. It is a drug that directly affects the brain and that, even in small doses, can generate dependence. It gets worse the longer the drug is consumed, affecting your personal, work, and family environment. Disinhibition, security, and excitement are some of the qualities that have made this drug popular, especially among young audiences because they consider it fun and not very dangerous.
What are the effects of cocaine use?
Cocaine presents two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, it increases the capacities for socialization and euphoria, reduces the feeling of fatigue, disinhibits, and in general, increases the capacities and abilities of the subject who consumes it. On the other hand, when the euphoria disappears, the decay process begins, accompanied by aggressiveness, irritability produced by the desire to want to re-experience the pleasant effects of the consumption of this substance and thus be able to counteract the anxiety that its withdrawal produces.
Its consumption in high doses generates insomnia, irritability, hypertension, and psychomotor agitation and, in the long term, it can remit in arrhythmias, seizures, and even paranoid episodes where the sense of reality is lost and one suffers from auditory and/or tactile hallucinations. Its tolerance develops rapidly, so consumers are forced to change routes of administration and increase dosages to obtain the desired effects.
Short-term effects of cocaine use
Short-term cocaine use has consequences for both the drug addict and his immediate environment. On the one hand, the increased frequency of dangerous or strange behaviors, apathy, or irritability is part of everyday life. To this must be added the loss of interest in small plans or daily chores. The result is more than evident: immediate disunity with the people who were previously part of the addict’s life.
General Health Issues
Likewise, there are some general sequences that tend to occur in all cocaine users. Among the most prominent are loss of appetite, increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. In addition, the addict might experience an increase in the respiratory rate, a disorder in the sleep habits, or nausea due to hyperstimulation. The addict’s behavior is disrupted in the short term with behavior patterns that must be treated by professionals. Anxiety, paranoia, irritability, panic, psychosis, disorientation, exhaustion, confusion, or depression are just a few of the downsides on the long list.
Trying to justify cocaine use by thinking that only one shot is going to take place is a general problem. Cocaine addicts tend to think they are ‘in control’ but a single-use can lead to tolerance and addiction.
Long-term effects of cocaine use
Under this false appearance of control, consumption begins to increase over the long term. This means going on many occasions from group consumption to taking alone. Long-term consequences include permanent damage to the circulatory system of the heart and brain. These can lead to heart attack, stroke, or death from kidney damage.
There is a progressive deterioration of memory that leads to confusion and lowering of the addict’s intellect or lack of consciousness. If cocaine is inhaled, the destruction of the nasal tissues is very likely. Smoking can lead to respiratory failure, infectious diseases, weight loss, severe tooth decay, or hallucinations.
How to recognize cocaine addiction?
Increased need for consumption: Cocaine use in most cases usually begins as an experimental process in a recreational situation. When a person has a need – intense or not – to consume the drug frequently or in higher doses.
Legal and/or social problems: In order to continue consuming, the person usually performs actions that they normally should not, such as stealing or evading their work or social responsibilities. It becomes a priority and money is often spent on cocaine, even knowing that it is not available.
Health problems: Experiencing irritability, tachycardia, or withdrawal when you try to stop using it, can be a symptom of addiction.
As with any other disorder, cocaine addiction is a complex illness that requires specialized treatment. It is best to get into a treatment program designed as a therapeutic treatment to stop consumption, striving to know what each patient needs individually.