Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that can have devastating effects on an individual’s health, mental state, and lifestyle. Cocaine use can lead to addiction and dependence, which in turn can cause both physical and psychological harm.
Understanding the properties of cocaine can help people understand the risks associated with using it. To better understand cocaine, its effects, harms, and other lesser-known details, here is everything you need to know about cocaine and stimulants.
If you or a loved one is having difficulty controlling the urge to use stimulant drugs, seek help from our treatment facility in Utah.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine, sometimes referred to as “coke” or “blow”, is an intense stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It is commonly used as a recreational drug for its stimulating and energizing effects. Cocaine blocks the reuptake of dopamine in the brain, producing a surge of pleasure that can last from a few minutes to hours. Cocaine is commonly snorted, but can also be injected or taken in pill form.
At one point, cocaine was a legal drug for medical use. It was originally used as a treatment for numerous illnesses. That was before doctors and scientists were made aware of its highly addictive and harmful properties. Since then, it has been registered as a Schedule II controlled substance, making it illegal.
Despite the damaging nature of the substance, cocaine remains one of the most widely used illegal recreational drugs of the modern era. Acqua Recovery provides cocaine addiction treatment in Utah. Our residential program includes comprehensive treatment and therapy to help overcome addiction to cocaine.
What Makes Cocaine a Stimulant?
Cocaine is a stimulant because it activates the brain’s reward system by producing an intense feeling of pleasure and energy. It does this by blocking the reuptake of dopamine, which increases levels of dopamine in the brain. The initial surge of pleasure from cocaine use can last for up to several hours, depending on how much and how often it is taken.
A drug’s classification solely depends on how it interacts with the brain and central nervous system. Upon ingestion, cocaine triggers and creates abnormal levels of dopamine that flood the brain’s pleasure center. The euphoric effects of these stimulants are the primary cause of dependency and recurring usage.
What’s the Difference Between Stimulants and Depressants?
Stimulants and depressants are two categories of substances that produce different effects on the body. Stimulants, like cocaine, are known to increase alertness, energy, heart rate, and blood pressure. Depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines have a calming effect on the body and mind by slowing down brain activity.
Both can be dangerous when used in excessive amounts or combined with other substances. It is important to be aware of the risks and effects associated with substance abuse to make informed decisions about their use.
What are the Different Forms of Cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant that comes in different shapes, sizes, appearances, and dosages. The drug is available in a variety of forms, and each form has its risks and effects. The three most common forms are
- Powder cocaine – This type of cocaine can vary in color from white to yellowish-white and is usually snorted or injected. It’s the most accessible form of cocaine on the street and is highly addictive.
- Crack cocaine – Crack cocaine is a solid form of cocaine that can be smoked with a pipe or mixed with water and injected. It’s more potent than powder cocaine, and the effects are immediately felt. It’s also very addictive but cheaper to buy on the street.
- Cocaine hydrochloride – Cocaine hydrochloride is a liquid form of cocaine that can be injected or mixed with water and snorted. It’s the purest form of cocaine and can be more potent than powder or crack cocaine, making it even more addictive.
It’s important to note that all forms of cocaine are dangerous, regardless of which one you use. Any cocaine use can lead to addiction and dependence if it’s not used responsibly.
How Do Stimulants Affect the Body?
Stimulants like cocaine can cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, alertness, and energy levels. They can also interfere with sleep by making it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. In addition, stimulants can also lead to increased anxiety and restlessness as well as paranoia.
Stimulant use can be especially dangerous when mixed with other substances, as it can lead to dangerous interactions. Long-term use of stimulants can also have serious effects on the body’s cardiovascular system and can even lead to heart attack or stroke.
Stimulants do exactly what they say they do; they stimulate. This overstimulation of the central nervous system accelerates your heart rate, forcing blood to pump harder and faster. This rise in blood pressure forces your other organs such as the heart, liver, and kindness to work equally hard.
Rapid heart rate causes the heart to pump faster and harder. As a result, users will often have the sensation of their heart skipping a beat. This may be accompanied by a “fluttering” or pounding sensation. While palpitations are not an indication of heart problems, they can eventually lead to heart-related deficiencies.
Though stimulants trigger euphoric dopamine release, excessive pleasure cell stimulation is accompanied by a heavy crash when the euphoria subsides. Simply put, for every high there’s a trenching low. These potentially depressing crashes are your body’s reaction to compensate for the overproduction of dopamine created by the drug. These dopamine crashes are the root cause of repetitive use and addiction.
What are the Long-Term Health Problems Caused by Stimulants?
As alluded to earlier, addiction to stimulants doesn’t come without consequences or bodily repercussions. Seeking stimulant treatment today can help you prevent a number of these permanent health issues or minimize their severity. Here are but a few of the irreversible damages stimulants cause.
Stimulants cause an accelerated heart rate and a sharp increase in blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can cause blood clots that can turn fatal if left untreated. While blood clots are a serious problem, further blood clots can be prevented and eliminated by stopping stimulant use.
Stimulants are very taxing on the organs and surrounding blood vessels. This strain on the heart manifests itself in numerous irreversible damages. These damages include numerous heart problems such as heart disease, congestive heart failure, or diseases and deficiencies of the surrounding heart valves.
Stimulants kill brain cells at a rapid pace. Therefore, prolonged stimulant use causes permanent and irreparable brain damage. These damages can include neuronic chemical deficiencies, mental health disorders, dopamine depletion, or other neurological degenerative conditions. You can prevent further mental harm by enrolling in the appropriate recovery program.
High blood pressure and rapid heart rate caused by stimulants have trickle-down effects on your vital organs. Over time these indirect effects wear down these organs, ultimately causing permanent damage to their functions. This opens the door to exposure to a variety of organ diseases and several cancers.
Addiction affects friends and family as much as it does the addicted. Substance abuse has long-term strains through the worries, stress, and other variables inflicted upon your loved ones. That’s why the addicted and their loved ones need to recover together. Family-based recovery can help you overcome the hardships of addiction as a family unit and mend those bonds together again.
What are the Best Treatment Options for Stimulant Addiction?
Stimulant dependency requires a unique approach to treatment from a licensed treatment professional. First, you will participate in a treatment assessment phase where a trained specialist will assess your addiction severity.
Depending on individual addiction variables, a treatment assessment specialist will place you in any of the following stimulant-based recovery programs.
It’s dangerous to attempt self-recovery when your body develops a chemical dependency on stimulants. The first and most vital step of any stimulant-centered recovery is to seek medical detox. You cannot progress until your body has been cleansed from stimulant dependency under close monitoring and guidance from a trained physician.
The most important thing for anybody struggling with addiction is not feeling alone in your battle. Group therapy provides that friendly support you need by surrounding you with individuals with similar struggles and similar goals.
You will be able to break the cycle of addiction and achieve sobriety by applying principles learned in group therapy sessions. Call one of our representatives today to learn more about our state-of-the-art group therapy treatment.
Outpatient treatment for stimulant addiction is a form of therapy that focuses on helping the individual manage cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and triggers. It typically involves individual or group counseling sessions with a therapist or doctor.
These sessions focus on teaching relapse prevention skills and addressing underlying issues that may have led to drug use in the first place. Outpatient treatment can also include medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
Support groups are also an important part of outpatient treatment, as they provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their challenges and successes with others in similar situations.
Acqua Can Help You Overcome Your Struggles with Addiction
At Acqua, we understand the power of addiction and are dedicated to helping individuals struggling with cocaine use. Our treatment programs combine evidence-based methods with holistic healing techniques to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery.
We offer individualized care plans tailored to meet the unique needs of each person and provide support throughout all stages of recovery. With our help, you can begin working towards a healthier, happier life free from cocaine addiction.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you or a loved one on your journey to recovery.