What is Cocaine?
Commonly known as coke, flake snow, toot, blow, nose candy, liquid lady, speedball, crack, and rock.
Derived from the coca plant, cocaine is usually sold as a fine white powder (hydrocholride salt). The powder can be dissolved and injected into a vein, or kept dry and sniffed through the nose. Sniffing, also called blowing or snorting cocaine is the most popular method used. Pure cocaine is odourless. However, most cocaine is adulterated in some way or “cut” with different fillers.
Crack, the street form of cocaine, is processed into rock-like crystals that are heated to produce vapors. The vapors are then smoked. The drug was dubbed “crack” because of the crackling sound it makes when heated.
How Cocaine Works
Regardless of how you get cocaine into your body, the drug is dangerous–and addictive.
As a stimulant drug, cocaine increases the amount of dopamine (a chemical associated with pleasure) production in the brain. And causes excessive amounts of the chemical to build up. This build up of dopamine results in the euphoric effects of cocaine.
Cocaine presents a threat to the body, both physically and psychologically. And with repeated use, cocaine users can develop a tolerance towards the drug, and they are unable to achieve the same “high” like the first time they used the drug. This causes dependence.
When a tolerance is developed, addicts often increase doses or mix cocaine with other drugs or alcohol. Mixing cocaine is dangerous, and can result in death.
Its highly addictive nature poses a threat to even the casual user, as a single dose is sufficient to elicit a strong addiction, causing them to become dependent.
Cocaine Use in India:
One addict said, “The first time you take it, you get a totally different feeling – you feel like you have to do it, you cannot live without it”.
Cocaine dependence in India generally revolves around the elite economic class. The drug has taken on a certain status symbol, increasing its popularity and availability.
Visual Signs of Cocaine Addiction
The following signs and symptoms are indicative of cocaine addiction:
- Fast speech or talkativeness
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Runny or bloody nose
- Restlessness, irritability, sleeplessness
- Bouts of high energy followed by exhaustion
Health Risks of Using Cocaine
Abusing cocaine can have the following effects on your body.
- Increased: heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, or metabolism
- Feelings of exhilaration
- Increased energy
- Mental alertness
- Reduced appetite
- Violent behavior
- Psychosis/weight loss
- Cardiac or cardiovascular complications
Cocaine dependence is a major problem. Cocaine’s effects and even unknown side effects such as coming from a wrong cut can be deadly. However, with the amount of centres rising that will treat cocaine addiction, there is hope. Rehabs.in offers a large directory of centres that will treat cocaine addiction.
Learn about other types of drug addiction.
Learn about different types of addiction.
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