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Facts about Cocaine: A Highly Addictive and Dangerous Drug

Cocaine is one of the drugs I used extensively so hopefully these facts about cocaine will help you realise and really understand its dangers.

History and Introduction

Cocaine and crack cocaine are two of the most dangerous and highly addictive drugs out there. They are both based on extracts from the coca plant.

Pure cocaine (the powder form) was first used as an anaesthetic in the 1880’s, but for obvious reasons that is no longer the case. Cocaine is typically used by snorting it (the powder form), smoking (typically crack) or injecting it. Crack cocaine is the cocaine base that has typically not been neutralised by an acid to make hydrochloride salt and is found in the form of small rocks, usually smoked in the form of some pipe. The reason for it being called crack cocaine is the cracking sound it makes when being heated.

Cocaine Facts: What does it do?

Cocaine and crack cocaine are powerful nervous system stimulants. You get high quickly, leaving you feeling confident, alert and powerful – but often mixed with restlessness and anxiety. Crack cocaine tends to enhance these feelings even further. The problem is, after the high, you ‘crash’ and go from feeling powerful and euphoric to depressed, anxious and sometimes paranoid. The high you get is brief, but intense – typically 30 minutes or so for snorting cocaine when you first start, but that diminishes quickly the more often you use it.

Smoking crack cocaine keeps you ‘buzzing’ for around 10 minutes. So as you use cocaine more often, you need to increase your dosage to maintain the same effects – and soon you’re sitting with a habit that costs you a small fortune.

Facts about Cocaine: The Mental and Physical Health Risks

From a mental perspective - abuse and addiction to cocaine can result in depression and anxiety, which in extreme cases can lead to paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and ultimately psychotic behaviour. The come downs or crash after using can make you feel so low mentally those thoughts of suicide are often prevalent.

From a physical perspective, cocaine causes disturbances in heart rhythms which can lead to heart attacks or stroke, respiratory failure, increased blood pressure, convulsions, chest pain, and ultimately death a not uncommon occurrence.

When injecting or smoking cocaine, the risks are multiplied. Smoking can give you ‘crack lung’, which shows itself as severe chest pains, difficulty breathing and high temperatures leading to respiratory failure and death. Injecting provides all the additional risks of sharing a needle and contracting diseases like HIV.

Who Uses It?

Cocaine transcends all cultural and economic divides. From rich businessmen to your ‘average Joe’ on the street and is regarded as the second most widely used illegal drug in the world. People often mistakenly think of a drug addict as someone down and out, living in a slum or on the street.

There is nothing further from the truth and cocaine addicts best exemplify this because many are powerful and ‘successful’ people leading seemingly very successful lives.

Did you know?

Late in the 19th century one of the key ingredients of Coca Cola was a liquid extract of the coca leaf and did in fact contain cocaine. These days though, coke includes a non-narcotic extract of the coca leaf.

What do you do?

The bottom line is that cocaine is a highly addictive substance that is extremely dangerous and I hope these cocaine facts have showed you that. The risk of addiction is massive and death from overdose common.

So if you suspect addiction in yourself or someone you care about, have a read through the addiction and alcoholism symptoms area of the site where you may want to try taking this drug addiction test.

The causes of drug addiction and the idea of drug addiction as a disease are other related topics also worth finding out more about.

Most importantly though, getting proper treatment for drug addiction, understanding your drug treatment options and how to find a good drug and alcohol rehab are what will determine successful recovery from cocaine.

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