Cocaine is the 2nd most illegally trafficked drug all over the world. Recent statistics reveal that international seizing of the drug continues to increase in the recent years and have now totaled 756 metric tons. Furthermore, the largest quantities of the drug have been intercepted in South America with North America coming in second.
- Cocaine is a strongly addictive and powerful drug.
- It is classified by our federal government as a high drug dependency, high abuse risk stimulant.
- The signs and symptoms of the abuse of cocaine may vary based on how it was ingested.
The powder form of the drug may be inhaled via the nose through an act called snorting. It may also be dissolved in water and injected either into the muscle or into the vein. It may also be injected right under the skin via a technique called “skin popping.” With the method of administration, the length of time users can feel the “high” is significantly increased. The prolonged high may lead to an infection as well as a host of other medical complications.
The common signs of a person snorting cocaine include:
- The loss of the sense of smell
- Chronically Runny Nose
- Difficulty swallowing
One form of cocaine which is known off the streets is called “crack.”
The substance has been processed to form a rock crystal and is often smoked by users using a pipe. However, this type of cocaine has a lower purity level and has a wider potential for introducing other harmful chemicals. It has been found that among long-term crack users; more dramatic symptoms could be experienced.
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People who are suffering due to the abuse of cocaine or else an addiction to the drug may have a condition called severe paranoia.
The condition is a temporary state of an extreme paranoid psychosis. During this time, the user will lose his ability to coincide with reality and may also have auditory hallucinations. Long-term users may begin to hear sounds that are not even present. Ingesting cocaine orally may also lead to ulcers being formed in the body’s stomach lining and kill numerous amounts of tissue (gangrene) in bowel due to a reduced blood flow.
No matter how frequent the user opts to dose or the manner in which he doses, abusers may experience a heart attack or even a stroke. More often than not, cocaine-related deaths were a result of a seizure or a heart attack coupled with a respiratory arrest stopping the individual’s breathing.
The common serious health risks of cocaine dependency are:
- Respiratory problems such as respiratory failure
- Digestive Problems
- Heart problems such as heart attacks
- Nervous system problems such as strokes
- Contracting HIV and like diseases usually due to injecting cocaine with shared needles
- Severe Skin Infections
- Serious Allergic Reactions
Cocaine addiction is also related to risks like:
Overdose & Death
The NIDA revealed that in 2013, 5,000 overdose deaths were related to cocaine.
Contractions of infectious disease like Hepa B, Hepa C or HIV
Around 3 million users who inject cocaine lived with HIV (2010) while 7.4 million suffered Hepa C and 2.3 million had Hepa B. An increase of mental illness symptoms like mood disorders which are 10%-40% present during cocaine use as revealed in a journal of the Addiction Science and Clinical Practice.
Long-term Health Problems In The Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Neurovascular & Gastrointestinal Systems
The Journal of Addictions Nursing reveals that cocaine leads to heart disease, heart attack, organ failure, hypertension, disrupted sleep patterns, respiratory distress, unhealthy weight loss, seizures, and stroke.
Reaction time, Attention and Memory could be permanently impaired. The gray matter of the brain could shrink. Cocaine addicts may age prematurely according to several studies in Molecular Psychiatry.
The abuse and addiction of Cocaine may lead to serious medical diseases that can be extremely difficult to deal with. Alcohol and treatment centers have programs that can address the effects of those who suffer from cocaine addiction.
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