Cocaine is an addictive substance which comes from coca leaves or is made synthetically. This drug acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system.
Cocaine appears as a white powdery substance which is inhaled, injected, freebased (smoked), or applied directly to the nasal membrane or gums.
Cocaine gives the user a tremendous “rush”. These chemicals trick the brain into feeling it has experienced pleasure.
- increased heart rate and breathing
- increased blood pressure
- weight loss
- rapid breathing
- pallor (paleness)
- dilated pupils
- cold sweats
- blurred vision
- nasal congestion
- superior attitude
- less ambition
- argumentativeness/short temper
- job problems
- denial of responsibility
- increased number of accidents
- poor concentration
- loss of interest in sex
- flattened and dulled emotions
- ulceration of the nasal membrane
- cardiac arrest
- respiratory arrest
- physiological seizures
- lung damage
The effects of cocaine occur within the first few minutes, peak in 15-20 minutes and disappear in about 1 hour. The immediate effects are what make cocaine so addicting. The user is willing to endure the lows in order to experience the highs.
Cocaine is highly addictive. Every use of the drug makes the addiction stronger. This addiction can begin almost immediately following the first use. The addiction to cocaine is very strong, therefore, withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur when a person is not using the drug.
- extreme irritability
- disorganized thinking
Although these symptoms may cause discomfort for a brief period of time, the benefits for a person who stops using the drug greatly outweigh an addiction to cocaine.
These benefits include improved health and greater enjoyment of everyday activities.
COCAINE AND PREGNANCY
- increased incidence of miscarriage
- increased incidence of premature labor
- fetal addiction/withdrawal after birth
- pre-natal strokes due to fluctuations in blood pressure
- kidney and respiratory ailments
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
In males, cocaine may attach to the sperm causing damage to the cells of the fetus.