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Cocaine is a stimulant drug. It can be snorted, injected, or smoked.


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Effects vary from person to person. They will depend on the size, weight and health of the person taking cocaine, whether they are used to taking the drug, whether other drugs are present in their body, and of course, the amount taken. There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk — even medications can produce unwanted side effects. It is important to be careful when taking any type of drug.

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Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can heighten activity in the body, including heart rate, blood pressure, alertness, and energy. The most commonly used form of the drug is a white powder which is found in the leaves of the Erythroxylon Coca plant and has been used in South America for hundreds of years. It was first introduced in the United States in the s as a surgical anesthetic.

In the early s, cocaine was the active ingredient in many of the tonics and elixirs that were marketed at the time to treat a variety of conditions and illnesses before its side effects and addictive properties were fully understood. It was classified as a Schedule II drug in In the United States, recreational cocaine use is illegal. A few of the more commonly used terms include powder, rock candy, blow, crack, sleet, and snow.

Drug Class: Cocaine is classified as a stimulant.

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It increases activity in the brain and temporarily elevates mood, alertness, and energy levels. Common Side Effects: While cocaine can produce short-term feelings of euphoria, it also comes with a of side effects including decreased appetite, paranoia, extreme sensitivity, irritability, headaches, mood changes, and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Cocaine is mostly sold on the street illegally as a fine white powder. It is often mixed with other substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar to dilute its purity.

Sometimes it is mixed with amphetamine or heroin in what is known as a "speedball. Cocaine looks like white powder or rocks. It is often stored loose in baggies or packed into tight bricks. Cocaine can be swallowed, snorted, injected, and inhaled. Except for approved medical use, there is no safe way to use cocaine in any form. All methods of use can lead to absorption of toxic levels of cocaine, possible acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, and seizures. Any of these can lead to sudden death. Cocaine begins working almost immediately except when taken orally.

Even small doses of the drug have a temporary stimulating effect on the body, which can make a person feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert. Cocaine works by interfering with the normal communication process in the brain. Cocaine use blocks the removal of dopamine from the synapse causing an "amplified" al to be sent to the receiving neurons. This amplified al is what people perceive as an initial euphoria or high. The method by which cocaine is used can affect how high a person feels and how long the high lasts.

Learn about cocaine and substance abuse

For example, snorting cocaine does not produce as intense a high as smoking it, but the high lasts longer. A high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while a high from smoking cocaine might last only 5 to 10 minutes. The faster the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, the more intense the high, but the shorter the duration. Cocaine presents a risk of both addiction and overdose. Because it impairs judgment, it can also lead to other risky behaviors such as engaging in needle sharing or unprotected sex.

There are a of reasons why people choose to use cocaine in spite of the risks. Although some people find that using the drug helps them perform simple intellectual and physical tasks more quickly, others report that cocaine has the opposite effect. Some people report heightened sensitivity to sight, sound, and touch.

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They can also experience a decreased need for food or sleep, at least temporarily. While cocaine is illegal as a recreational drug, it does have legitimate medical uses. It has both anesthetic and vasoconstrictive properties, which make it ideal for some medical purposes. Cocaine can be effective:. Cocaine use can result in both physiological and psychological side effects. Physiological effects of cocaine can include:. Psychological effects of cocaine use can include:.

Immediate effects

Although it is rare, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly with later doses of the drug. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.

Combining cocaine with alcohol can also increase the strain on the heart and the risk of sudden death.

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Some s that someone you know might be using cocaine include:. Overdoses can occur unexpectedly, even on the first use. The risk of overdose can increase if cocaine is combined with other drugs or alcohol. s of overdose can include vomiting, tremors, and difficulty breathing. While the use of this substance is sometimes referred to as an epidemic, evidence shows that its use has largely been on the decline since its peak in the s. Some people also wonder about the effects of cocaine on athletic performance.

Studies have shown that cocaine diminishes an athlete's strength, endurance, and overall performance. However, because cocaine can distort a person's perception, many athletes believe the drug is actually enhancing their performance.

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Prolonged or chronic use of cocaine causes havoc with the brain's natural reward system to the point that using cocaine no longer produces its initial pleasurable effects. Frequent cocaine use can cause people to develop increasingly higher tolerance.

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This means that it takes higher doses or more frequent doses for the brain to try to achieve the same level of pleasure experienced during the initial use. This cycle of increasing cocaine doses to get the same high can lead to addiction. It is very difficult to determine an exact detection window for how long cocaine can stay in someone's system.

The length of time it remains in the system depends on many different factors including body mass, metabolism, and hydration levels. Cocaine can be detectable for 24 hours by blood test or up to three months by hair follicle test. Cocaine addiction can involve both a physical craving for the substance as well as a mental desire to experience the drug's euphoric effects.

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One of the most dangerous consequences of using cocaine is its powerful addictive qualities. People have been known to become addicted after just one use.

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Once someone becomes addicted to cocaine, quitting without relapse is extremely difficult, even after long periods of abstinence. Research has shown that even after not using cocaine for long periods of time, exposures to triggers associated with cocaine—or even memories of past cocaine experiences—can set off tremendous cravings and relapses.

As the effects of cocaine begin to wear off, people can experience a of withdrawal symptomsincluding irritability, aggression, restlessness, anxiety, insomniadepression, or paranoia. Because of these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, many people report difficulty in "coming down" from the drug.

It is not uncommon to experience depression immediately after the drug's effects wear off. Consequently, some people will take then more cocaine to avoid the unpleasant withdrawals—another reason cocaine is considered so highly addictive.

What you need to know about the dangers and side effects of drug use

Cocaine addiction can be a complex condition that can lead to a wide variety of personal problems. Effective treatment often involves addressing cocaine misuse as well as other co-occurring addictions. It is not uncommon for people who misuse drugs to also have other mental health issues—such as depression or anxiety—that also require treatment.

There are several behavioral approaches used in residential and outpatient settings that are effective in the treatment of cocaine addictions. Currently, they are the only approved and evidence-based treatments available for those who use cocaine or crack cocaine. Some of these behavioral treatments include:. There are currently no approved medications to treat cocaine addiction. However, medications such as antidepressants may be used to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cocaine Research Report. Updated May Favrod-Coune T, Broers B. Pharmaceuticals Basel. The Cardiovascular Effects of Cocaine.