Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

Blow, C, coke, crack, flake, and snow are common streetnames for cocaine, a powerful central nervous system stimulant that is highly addictive. Today, approximately one in six people has tried cocaine by the age of 30, and seven percent have tried it by their senior year of high school.

Cocaine increases levels of dopamine in the brain, which leads to feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and mental alertness. It is typically administered in three ways: intranasally (snorted), injected, and smoked. People who suffer from cocaine addiction report that they seek, but fail, to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first experience. Some users will increase the dose in an attempt to intensify and prolong the euphoria, but this can also increase the risk of an overdose.

Cocaine abuse and Cocaine addiction have a variety of adverse effects on the body. For example, cocaine constricts the blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Regardless of the route or frequency of use, cocaine abusers can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as heart attack or stroke, which can cause sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure, followed by respiratory arrest.

Possible indicators for cocaine addiction:

  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Runny nose or frequent sniffing
  • Weight loss
  • Increased susceptibility to illness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nosebleeds
  • Altered motor activities (tremors, hyperactivity)
  • Frequently in need of money (failure to pay bills)
  • Selling possessions to buy cocaine
  • Poor work performance
  • Erratic behavior, mood swings, irritability


Information provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institutes of Health

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