Effects Of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is a drug made from the leaves of the coca plant.
This plant is processed in different ways to make different types of cocaine.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug. This means it speeds up the brain and the nervous system.
Types of cocaine
This is the white powder type of cocaine most commonly available in Australia. In this form it is sniffed through the nose (snorted) or injected.
This is a chemically changed type of cocaine (alkaloidal cocaine). It can be smoked and this makes the user feel high quickly.
Crack is a type of freebase cocaine sold in the form of small crystals or rocks. It is usually smoked or injected. Crack is less available in Australia.
People who sell cocaine often mix or cut the powder with other things that look the same.
Some mixed-in substances can have unpleasant or harmful effects. It is difficult to tell what the drug actually contains.
Effects of COCAINE
What cocaine does to you depends on:
• How much you take
• The type of cocaine you take
• Your height and weight
• Your general health
• Your mood
• Your past experience with cocaine
• Whether you use cocaine on its own or with other drugs
• Whether you use alone or with others, at home or at a party, etc.
The effects of taking cocaine can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Physical Effects of cocaine abuse
Effects of Cocaine on your body may include:
• Your heart beats faster
• Your body temperature rises
• The pupils in your eyes get bigger
• You move more quickly than usual
• You are less hungry
• You get headaches
• You feel dizzy
• You have chest pain
• You have a heart attack
• You have seizures/convulsions (fits)
• You overdose
Psychological Effects of cocaine abuse
• feel good and confident
• be excited or upset
• feel numb
• take more risks than usual
• want to have sex
• feel alert and energetic
• feel overly assertive or aggressive
• feel restless
• become violent or aggressive
• find it hard to concentrate
• Not feel like doing anything
• lose interest in sex
• have psychosis - a serious psychological problem when you hear voices, imagine things; get frightened that others want to hurt you.
Long-term effects of cocaine
If you use cocaine often and for a long time you may:
• become dependent
• become aggressive, violent or have more arguments than usual
• have relationship, work, and money, legal or housing problems
• impair your capacity as a parent/primary care of children.
Overdose of cocaine is more likely to occur in people with pre-existing heart conditions or who are older. Even small amounts of cocaine may cause overdose with some people who have an especially strong reaction to it.
When a person overdoses, it may cause:
• Faster, irregular or weak heartbeat
• breathing problems
• Heart failure
• Heart attack
• bleeding in the brain
Tolerance and Dependence On Cocaine
Anyone can develop a tolerance to cocaine. Tolerance means that you must take more of the drug to feel the same effects you used to have with lower amounts.
Dependence on cocaine means that it takes up a lot of your thoughts, emotions and activities and can lead to a variety of health, money, legal, work and relationship problems.
Not all people who use cocaine are dependent.
Pregnancy and breast feeding
Cocaine use during pregnancy can affect fetal development by increasing the heart rate of both the mother and the unborn baby, reducing the supply of blood and oxygen to the baby.
There is also an increased risk of bleeding, miscarriage, premature labour and stillbirth.
Some researches indicates that the children of women who use cocaine in pregnancy may experience long-term mental or physical effects.
Babies of mothers who regularly use cocaine during pregnancy tend to weigh less and may also experience withdrawal symptoms after birth. It is likely that, if a mother continues to use cocaine while breastfeeding, the drug will be present in her milk, which may have adverse effects on the baby.
It is generally risky to take any drug while breastfeeding without medical advice.
Withdrawal symptoms of cocaine
• wanting cocaine very badly (cravings)
• feeling angry or upset
• feeling sick
• Long but disturbed sleep
• Muscle pain
• Deep depression (feeling very down or sad)
• wanting to kill yourself.
Effects Of Cocaine Abuse
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