Due to the glamorization of cocaine in tv shows and movies, it has now become one of the most popular drugs in the USA. About 14% of Americans have used it at least once in their life, despite the fact that it is very dangerous. Most of the people who end up in the hospital due to drug abuse are cocaine addicts.
It is mentally and physically addictive because it affects the brain almost instantly. There are short term and long term effects of cocaine addiction. The short term effects are that the drug prevents the body from properly absorbing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. It produces a sense of euphoria i.e. users feel much more energetic and invincible. This happens because it disturbs the signals the brain nerves are transmitting. This is one of the reasons that people enjoy abusing cocaine, because of the chemical imbalance it causes, the abuser feels happier and more confident. People who have suffered depression or are going through a loss are more likely to turn to the drug to help them feel better. While it might seem nice at first, it is actually very dangerous.
Cocaine also causes anxiety, paranoia, panic, irritability and restlessness. Cocaine can be taken in different ways which make a difference to the impact the drug has on the body. Snorting cocaine produces a longer but less intense sensation while injecting or smoking it produces a very short but very intense sensation. Even the method of intake can cause many problems as snorting causes irritation of the nasal septum, hoarseness, and nosebleeds; injections cause allergic reactions, puncture wounds and collapsed veins.
Cocaine also increases the risk of a stroke within a day of its use. This is why even first-timers are advised to stop taking the drug. It is highly addictive and prolonged intake of cocaine can cause paralysis and even death. Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, shaking of body, difficulty breathing and depression cause many cocaine users to relapse which is why they are encouraged to go for a cocaine withdrawal treatment.
Cocaine is often portrayed as a party drug to be used recreationally but because it causes people to stay high for short periods of times, it is used more. The frequent use of cocaine leads to a full-blown addiction, as it is taken many times and in increasing amounts. If you feel as if you or your loved one is abusing cocaine then be sure to visit or take them to a cocaine treatment centre as soon as possible. But be on your guard even when you leave the facility after treatment because recovery takes longer than the rehabilitation. In such cases it is advisable to stay in a sober home where drug and alcohol abusers stay in a group home, leading normal lives while learning how to stay clean. This is a good way to transition from rehab to living independently. But remember that the best cure is prevention.