Cocaine is a very potent, addictive drug that is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. Using cocaine pushes the brain to produce large amounts of dopamine, a chemical associated with feelings of pleasure and produces a sense of euphoria or more commonly called a chemical “high.”
As early as 3,000 years BC people knew coca as a powerful stimulant in South America. Coca leaves were chewed by the Incas at that time to counter the effects of living in thin oxygen by speeding up breathing.
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At present, cocaine is generally known as highly illegal, something that would mean jail time at the very least. However, cocaine actually has legitimate medical purposes. Doctors commonly use cocaine to stop nosebleeds, and for pain control before minor nose surgery. At the same time, cocaine can be used as anesthesia.
Using pure cocaine will very likely result in overdose or even death. That is why drug pushers will usually mix cocaine with a white powder such as cornstarch, flour or talcum powder. Mixing cocaine with other powder will also mean having more to sell and making a bigger profit.
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What Causes Cocaine Overdose?
Cocaine will get a user hooked from the very first use. And as time goes on, you will want to continue using cocaine and in larger doses.
Cocaine binges are particularly dangerous because they can last for days at a time. This can lead a user to suspend the regular maintenance functions of the body such as eating, drinking and sleeping.
In the 1500s, Spanish conquerors arrived in South America and discovered coca leaves could help them save on resources because it put slaves into a kind daze, where they worked harder in the gold mines and at the same time their appetites were suppressed.
However, using cocaine continuously and in large doses will pump too much poison into your system. This will lead to either serious mental and physical drug-induced disabilities or your body’s complete system shutdown.
Signs of Cocaine High
Cocaine intoxication is more than being high from this illegal stimulant. It basically implies that your whole body is now on the path towards decline. If not properly addressed, this will lead to severe mental or physical distress or worse.
Cocaine intoxication results from using a higher dose or a higher concentration of the drug. Cocaine intoxication can also come from using cocaine with certain other drugs or alcohol. It has also been found that using cocaine during hot weather is more harmful because it leads to quicker and more severe dehydration.
Some signs of cocaine intoxication include:
- Enlarged pupils
- Fever and sweating
- Hyperactivity and talkativeness
Signs of A Cocaine Overdose
There are both physical and mental signs of a cocaine overdose. On the physical side, cocaine overdose can affect the brain, circulatory system, heart, kidneys, and the muscular system.
This means that a person suffering from an overdose may experience difficulty in breathing, chest pains, faster heart rate, nausea or vomiting, an increase in sweating, and in body temperature, seizures, and tremors.
On the other hand, mental signs of a cocaine overdose include anxiety, confusion, delirium, hallucinations, panic, paranoia,
Signs of cocaine overdose include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Skin assuming a blue color
Risks of Polydrug Abuse
Polydrug use refers to the act of ingesting a powerful drug, like cocaine, together with another type of illegal drug, prescription drug, over the counter drug, or alcohol.
Polydrug use presents an additional danger because there are simply too many combinations and not nearly enough studies that will say what the effects of these drugs will be when taken together. This, in turn, may be due to the difficulty of isolating the effects of cocaine from the effects of the other drug taken with cocaine, particularly on the brain.
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There are a few articles about cocaine being used concurrently with heroin. In fact, the use of these two drugs together may be enough for the terms ‘snowballing‘ and ‘crisscrossing’ to have been coined. Snowballing is basically ingesting cocaine and heroin at the same time through smoking or — even worse — injecting both drugs. On the other hand, crisscrossing is snorting alternate lines of heroin and cocaine.
Using the two powerful drugs together is very dangerous because cocaine is a stimulant while heroin is a downer. It may start out that cocaine brings a high and heroin will lead to a relaxing feeling. However, it is more likely that the more acute experience will lead to a more rapid and more intense dependence on this poly-drug use.
Another substance that is usually used concurrently with cocaine is alcohol. This leads to a dangerous psychoactive chemical byproduct called cocaethylene (ethylbenzoylecgonine).
Cocaine alone is a very powerful drug. Mixed with alcohol, it becomes difficult to expunge from the system, particularly the liver. Thus, cocaethylene has been blamed for liver damage. The cocaine-alcohol cocktail is also faulted for seizures and for compromising the immune system. Cocaethylene may also lead to an 18- to 25-fold increase risk for immediate death when compared to using cocaine on its own.
Finding Help for Cocaine Addiction
That cocaine has sunk its claws on our society is a sad and very terrifying fact. It seems that nobody has been untouched by cocaine addiction. No amount of education, wealth, or family bond can protect you from cocaine addiction and its repercussions.
Fortunately, rehabilitation facilities are available to treat this addiction.
Removing cocaine from your body also means changing your lifestyle in such a way that you are able to turn your back from it. You will need in-house care for this because a certain amount of time, as well as experienced attention from medical and psychosocial professionals, is needed for maximum effectiveness.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.