Cocaine is a powerful, expensive drug that delivers a short, intense euphoria. Everybody knows that. But how exactly does it work? What occurs inside the body and brain when somebody snorts cocaine, and what are the side effects, apart from the obvious ones?
Once it enters the bloodstream, cocaine makes its way to the brain’s reward center and triggers a massive dopamine rush. As a result, users experience a sense of joy, alertness, and energy. The side-effects, on the other hand, are hardly detectable to the user him or herself; that’s part of what makes cocaine so dangerous. When you couple a fabulous feeling (euphoria) with a dangerous physiological phenomena (raised heart rate and blood pressure), you’re bound to wind up in the emergency room soon or a later.
Methods, Time and Duration
There are three common ways of administering cocaine: inhaling, which is done with a pipe; snorting, which is done with a rolled up dollar bill or note card; and injecting, which is achieved by dissolving the cocaine in water and administering it intravenously using needles.
Cocaine addiction happens before the addict knows what hit them. Very quickly, after just weeks of regular use, they become bogged down by anxiety, panic, paranoia, restlessness. The behavior isn’t specific to drug abusers, but it’s a sign to watch out for nonetheless.
Withdrawal and Treatments for Cocaine Abuse
After using cocaine for several days or longer, it’s not easy to stop. In a desperate bid to retain a state of physiological balance, the human brain will slow its functions. It’s not just cravings this causes; it’s all-around lethargy. If the dopamine receptors are damaged badly enough, nothing except cocaine can excite you anymore, that’s when depression hits.
Several medications originally intended for other conditions happen to help ease cocaine withdrawal. In terms of cocaine-specific drugs, we’re getting closer and closer everyday. Several such drugs are being tested as you read this. The more we learn about the brain, the closer we come.
In addition to medicinal aid, we must also hone in on the psychological aspect of cocaine addiction. Even if someone doesn’t have to use cocaine, they still might wish to use cocaine. That’s why people relapse: they can’t help but water that seed. Treatments like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) help us see our situations clearly and realize we don’t even want to use.
To help get you or a loved one off cocaine for good, call Sustain: 949-637-5499