Author: James Anderson

Mind Matters: The Body’s Response to Cocaine National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

why do people use cocaine

Sessions with a trained therapist can help you make changes to your behaviors and thought processes. You may need to stay in a rehabilitation center (also known as rehab) for intensive therapy and support. If you do attend rehab, continuing treatment afterward (aftercare) is important to help you avoid relapse. With cocaine use disorder, you may become both physically and mentally dependent on the drug. If you stop using it, you’ll likely have withdrawal symptoms. Even if you stop using it for a long time, you could still have cravings for the drug.

Healthline does not endorse the use of any illegal substances, and we recognize abstaining from them is always the safest approach. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using. It’s important to remember addiction is a chronic disease. It’s not a sign of weakness, bad judgement or other personal characteristics. The best way to support someone coping with addiction is to encourage them to find help.

why do people use cocaine

The drug can also speed up the progress of an HIV infection. Some research has suggested that cocaine damages the way immune cells work in your body, which could make HIV worse. If you’re worried about your cocaine use and want help, you have options.

Cocaine is highly addictive but is often mistakenly perceived to be less dangerous than other illicit drugs. But this is not the case since cocaine is often tampered with or added to more potent drugs (like heroin or fentanyl) that can lead to an overdose. Cocaine addiction can develop quickly, often within a month. When a person is addicted to cocaine, they may begin to use it with methods that produce a more intense effect—such as smoking or injecting the drug instead of snorting it. Sometimes an intense effect is achieved by using more powerful forms of the drug, such as crack, or using other drugs in addition to cocaine. Specific routes of cocaine administration can produce their own adverse effects.

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Cocaine — aka coke, blow, and snow — is a powerful stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. It usually comes in the form of a white, crystalline powder. Once this has overcome you it is almost impossible to even get out of bed in the morning without the drug.

Drug dealers may cut (or mix) cocaine with several substances, such as baking soda, caffeine, lidocaine, and levamisole. Cocaine-cutting agents can be dangerous to a person’s health. Cocaine’s purity is also never guaranteed, so there is always a risk of cocaine containing harmful substances such as fentanyl. Cocaine abuse came to light as a problem when respected members of the medical community and high society began to face cocaine addiction. In 1910, then-President Taft named cocaine a national threat. The solid, rock-like form of the drug, called crack cocaine or freebase cocaine, is smoked.

When you heat the rock crystal and breathe the smoke into your lungs, you get a high that’s almost as fast and strong as when you inject it. That’s one reason crack cocaine became popular in the 1980s. You don’t need to mention the substances used over the phone.

  1. Those who take cocaine may feel as though their personal standpoint has improved.
  2. Instead of using baking soda as you would with crack, you add ammonia to “free” the cocaine base from its natural form.
  3. Tolerance to the drug develops and more and more cocaine is needed to achieve the desired effect.
  4. Your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are higher if you use cocaine.
  5. It doesn’t matter where you live or what school you go to.

Many people who use cocaine also use alcohol, and this combination can be particularly dangerous. Because cocaine’s effects wear off sooner, this can lead to a heroin overdose. Potential short-term side effects include overdose, addiction (cocaine use disorder) and withdrawal. Long-term side effects may include serious and potentially life-threatening medical issues like heart failure, stroke or infections. People often overdose from cocaine due to the effect that cocaine has upon the heart.

Can you become addicted to cocaine?

The risk of addiction is even higher with crack cocaine because its effects are more immediate and more intense. It can be seen therefore that cocaine is incredibly addictive, from the first time it is taken. Other than the positive state euphoria which is felt whilst under the influence of the drug there are also other factors which contribute to make cocaine very appealing. There is a certain aura around cocaine which some find very attractive. It removes people’s appetite therefore it has caused many celebrity appeal thus causing others to seek to imitate their behaviour. Those who take cocaine may feel as though their personal standpoint has improved.

why do people use cocaine

Cocaine addiction is one of the different stimulant use disorders. Stimulant use disorders are a subcategory of substance use disorder. Some people are more vulnerable to cocaine addiction than others.

How Common Is Cocaine Use?

For a person to be diagnosed with stimulant use disorder, they must be more than just a user. For this diagnosis, a person must meet at least two of 11 criteria outlined in the DSM-5 within the previous 12 months. Cocaine is mostly available as an illegal drug that some people use to get high. In rare cases, it is also used as a prescription drug for certain surgeries. When you snort it, it takes slightly longer to feel the effects.

Finally, look for a local Cocaine Anonymous chapter by visiting the website and using their navigator to search for meetings near you to connect with others in addiction recovery. If you or your loved one are battling cocaine use, help is available, and people can and do recover. All other use, sale, or possession of cocaine in the U.S. is illegal.

There are quite a few known interactions between cocaine and other substances, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications and other drugs. Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica’s empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community. One form of cocaine is still in use in the medical community, which is why the drug is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

The most important part of any treatment plan is to give up the drug right away. Many people who are addicted to cocaine go through a phase called withdrawal when they first do this. Withdrawal can be difficult, so it may be best to do it with the help of a medical professional. Since it’s an illegal drug, you can never be sure about the quality of cocaine. To make more money, dealers may “cut” the drug with other substances, like flour, baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum powder. They can also add other drugs like amphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, or procaine.

Depression and anxiety disorders are strongly linked to cocaine use. Furthermore those with mental disorders have been known to have returned to them after long periods of using the drug. Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug people commonly use for its effects on the central nervous system, like increased energy and feelings of self-confidence.