Cocaine Side Effects

As one of America’s most popular stimulant drugs, cocaine’s trends over the past 20-30 years have been somewhat of a roller coaster. Despite major declines in usage of cocaine, the powdery drug is still responsible for nearly 2 million addictions in the United State alone.

Further, as we have seen with downtrends, they often swing in the other direction after a period of time. As such, it is important that all Americans become educated in cocaine’s side effects and dangers.

Facts About Cocaine

Currently, cocaine use in the United States is more popular among men than women. Although nationally we are experiencing massive decreases in cocaine’s popularity, there is still a large group of millions of Americans aged 18-25 who report regular/daily cocaine use.

Cocaine is generally snorted through the nasal passages, but it can also be rubbed into the gums and mucous tissues. For a much more rapid and intensified effect, cocaine users inject the drug directly into the bloodstream or smoke it.

Extensive research has been conducted into cocaine’s apparent pleasurable effects on the user and its highly addictive nature. It is known that cocaine interacts with the brain’s dopamine production. The intensely pleasurable sensation from cocaine doesn’t last long—in fact, it usually disappears within a few minutes or an hour at the most. Snorting cocaine results in a more slowly arriving high that will last a little longer, while injecting or smoking the drug only produces a 5-10 minute euphoria.

Adderall and Vyvanse produce a similar high that lasts much longer—these drugs that appear to “do the job” better are now much more popular than cocaine.

Stimulant Side Effects

In the hype about opiate withdrawal symptoms and new synthetic drug adverse effective, cocaine side effects are easily lost in the mix.

A withdrawal from cocaine, as with any stimulant drug, is vastly different from opiate drugs. Side effects of stimulant drugs may include:

-Disturbance in heart rhythm
-Muscle twitches
-Increased body temperature/excessive sweating
-Paranoia and hallucinations

Overdose of cocaine by any method of ingestion results in extreme toxicity to the body and can produce cardiovascular difficulties, heart attacks, coma, seizures and death.

Cocaine Use Decreases After Drug Prevention Efforts

Today, less than 1% of 8th grade teens report current cocaine use. This is a tremendous decrease seen in all school ages, as well as adults.

After the 1980s cocaine epidemic devastated millions of American lives, prevention, education and anti-drug campaigns popped up across the nation in an attempt to make a better future for American youth. As a result,

If we wish to see declines in use of all drugs as we have cocaine, the answer is to strengthen education and drug-free marketing amongst youth at the same pace as new drugs are emerging every single day.

Synthetic drugs, marijuana, alcohol and prescription drugs are America’s most daunting substance abuse threats. However, studies show that and understanding of the truth about drugs (like cocaine side effects) keeps kids from trying and using drugs every single day. Cocaine has proven to be one of the most addictive drugs available and many who start using it cannot stop. It also has many health risks associated with use that cause severe effects to users.

Education and prevention efforts must become and remain a priority for American educators everywhere. And rehabilitation must exist to help those already addicted to cocaine.

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