10 Interesting Facts About Cocaine
Cocaine Effects on Sperm. Cocaine and Dopamine. Cocaine Effects on Teeth. Cocaine Use Statistics. Cocaine Addiction Treatment Near Me
10 Interesting Facts About Cocaine
1 What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a severely addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a strong psychoactive drug that affects the body’s central nervous system (CNS). Cocaine can be injected, smoked, sniffed, or snorted. It can be mixed with other drugs including the anesthetic procaine and amphetamine. When cocaine and heroin are combined, it produces what is called a “speedball. When people discovered the euphoric effects of the drug, they quickly became addicted in large numbers. At this point, the U.S. government stepped in and outlawed the use of cocaine in commercial products.
2. Cocaine Use Statistics
Cocaine is a highly addictive illegal drug used by 14-21 million people worldwide. In 2018 there are 874,000 new cocaine users. Users can be from all economic statuses, all ages, and all genders. Since cocaine is combined or ‘cut’ with other chemicals, people have no idea if the dose will be weak or strong. These other chemicals may include fillers, such as paint chemicals, cornstarch, fentanyl, and its analogs, which are added purely to boost profits and often lead to the risk of cocaine perforated septum and cocaine and erectile dysfunction.
3. What Cocaine Looks Like
Cocaine is usually distributed as a white, crystalline powder. Crack cocaine looks like a small rock, chunk, or chip and it is sometimes off-white or pink in color. What is the difference between crack cocaine and cocaine? Today, cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance , which means that it has a high potential for abuse but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses, such as local anesthesia for some ear, eye, and throat surgeries. Cocaine was once thought to be a harmless drug and was even listed as an ingredient in Coca-Cola during the product’s initial heyday.
4. What Does Cocaine Smell Like?
Pure cocaine has a sweet and flowery scent, but the likelihood that someone with a history of cocaine use is buying a pure derivative is little to none. Because of the process of extracting cocaine from coca leaves — and the prominence of cheap cutting agents and additives in street-cut cocaine — the result is a more metallic smell. Some chemicals and additives that are combined with pure cocaine have distinctive smells, allowing the user to identify what ingredients are in their batch of cocaine.
What cocaine smells like may also vary depending on the method of administration a person uses. Someone who snorts cocaine will probably notice a chemical or metallic smell, but someone who smokes the drug may smell burnt plastic or rubber. Cocaine that has either gasoline or kerosene added to it will give off a petroleum scent, such as the one you might smell after a diesel pickup truck passes you by. What any particular batch of cocaine smells like is also affected by the method in which it is to be used, such as intravenous injection, smoking, or snorting freebase cocaine. Some chemicals that are often used to manufacture cocaine have distinct smells that can help people identify the substance.
5. How Does Cocaine Taste Like?
Regardless of which additives, chemicals, and cutting agents are used in its production, cocaine always has a bitter and numbing taste, similar to that of peppercorns. The taste of cocaine is often described as bitter. The more bitter tasting the cocaine, the more potent the drug. While cocaine powder is not typically consumed in this manner, people will put cocaine in their mouths to check its purity. Specifically, a person will rub cocaine on their gums when checking purity.
Cocaine that has not been cut will typically numb the gum line when a small amount is rubbed across it. However, sometimes the cocaine will be cut with a numbing agent so that the result will be the same, and the person may have less pure cocaine without knowing it. For people who use cocaine, depression after use is common, even when they do not use it regularly. The reason cocaine and depression have this relationship has to do with how the brain works.
6. Effects of Cocaine
Cocaine creates a strong sense of exhilaration. Users generally feel invincible, carefree, alert, euphoric, and have a lot of energy. This is usually followed by agitation, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and decreased appetite. The effects of cocaine generally last up to one hour. This drug is a potent and dangerous substance. The short-term and long-term effects of cocaine are equally serious. The most serious danger of cocaine use is cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory failure.
7. Street Names for Cocaine
Cocaine has a wide variety of street names. Among those are Coke, Dust, Toot, Line, Nose Candy, and Snow. Sneeze, Powder, Girl, White Pony, Flake, C, The Lady, Cain, Neurocain, and Rock. “Crack” cocaine is also called “freebase.”
8. What is Crack Cocaine?
Crack cocaine is a highly addictive and powerful street drug that is derived from powdered cocaine. Crack is made by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water. The mixture is boiled until a solid substance forms. It is removed from the liquid, dried, and then broken into the chunks (rocks) that are sold as crack cocaine.
Due to its availability and intense effects, crack is also popular. Health risks and problems resulting from crack use are the same as those listed for cocaine. However, because of the intensity of the drug, it is a higher risk.
9. Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol
Alcohol is often consumed alongside other illicit substances, making some people wonder what happens when you mix cocaine and alcohol. Mixing cocaine and alcohol can lead to dangerous, even life-threatening consequences due to the formation of a toxic chemical called cocaethylene. Thus, it is critical to avoid using cocaine and alcohol together.
There’s a myth out there about using cocaine and alcohol together. People believe taking both can boost the cocaine high and help avoid withdrawal. This is just not true. In fact, mixing cocaine and alcohol can have deadly results. Cocaine and alcohol don’t actually negate the effects of one another. They mask the effects, making people unaware of how intoxicated they are leading to alcohol poisoning and cocaine overdose.
10. Cocaine Drug Test
Cocaine drug tests work not by searching for the presence of cocaine, but for proof that the body has recently metabolized, proving the ingestion of cocaine. While cocaine takes roughly 6-24 hours to leave the body, the product created when the body metabolizes cocaine, benzoylecgonine, can be detected up to 5 days after the last consumption. Metabolites are substances that our bodies create after metabolizing a certain toxic substance. The process of metabolizing cocaine usually takes between 6 and 24 hours depending on the height, weight, and metabolism speed of an individual.
Another factor that plays an important role in cocaine drug testing is the consumption of alcohol during and after the consumption of cocaine. Unlike most other drugs, cocaine reacts with alcohol in a way that creates a new substance called cocaethylene. This substance has a longer half-life than benzoylecgonine, meaning it will be detectable in one’s system for a longer period of time. In most cases, it takes up to seven days for cocaethylene to be completely cleaned out of a person’s body, provided they do not consume more cocaine or alcohol and remain properly hydrated during this period.
There Are Serious Health Risks to Using Cocaine
With repeated exposure to cocaine, the brain starts to adapt so that the reward pathway becomes less sensitive to natural reinforcers. At the same time, circuits involved in stress become increasingly sensitive, leading to increased displeasure and negative moods when not taking the drug, which are signs of withdrawal. These combined effects make the user more likely to focus on seeking the drug instead of relationships, food, or other natural rewards.
With regular use, tolerance may develop so that higher doses, more frequent use of cocaine, or both are needed to produce the same level of pleasure and relief from withdrawal experienced initially. At the same time, users can also develop sensitization, in which less cocaine is needed to produce anxiety, convulsions, or other toxic effects. Tolerance to cocaine reward and sensitization to cocaine toxicity can increase the risk of overdose in a regular user.
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Cocaine?
The method by which cocaine is used—whether it’s injected, smoked, snorted, or taken orally—can impact both the duration and intensity of the high. For example, snorting cocaine can give a relatively slow onset of the high that may last from 15 to 30 minutes. This is because it has to get through mucus, skin, and other tissues before hitting your bloodstream. Smoking this drug, on the other hand, will result in more rapid effects that last five to 10 minutes. But this high is typically instantly followed by a crash that can cause anxiety and tension, agitation, depression, and exhaustion. It’s this quick cycle that makes this illegal stimulant so addictive.
Cocaine sends intense signals to the pleasure centers of the brain, which leads to increased alertness and a “high” feeling. Cocaine use can alter the brain after just one use, and regular use can lead to intense cravings, withdrawal, and neurological changes.
Cocaine Effects on Sperm
Cocaine can disrupt the men’s sperm counts. Cocaine binds to receptors on cells in the testicles and decreases sperm production. When cocaine binds to these receptors, the sperm cells are constructed incorrectly, and the cellular structures cannot survive. The cells die early and cannot mature into healthy, functioning sperm.
When cocaine enters the bloodstream, it increases neurotransmitters (chemical signals) like dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are important for the development of new cells and tell the cells how to build their inner structures correctly. Therefore, these signals must be carefully regulated to produce new functioning sperm cells. Additionally, cocaine also causes blood vessels to constrict (tighten) and deliver less oxygen to some tissue. If tissue loses blood flow and oxygen over a long time, the cells can die.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the ability of cocaine to decrease the percentage of motile sperm at high concentrations may explain the decreased sperm motility associated with cocaine use. Cocaine’s ability to augment sperm penetration at low concentrations suggests an interaction of cocaine with the sperm adrenergic system.
Does Cocaine Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Sexual dysfunction is not uncommon in alcoholics and in cocaine users. Forty to 50% of alcoholic men were suffering from erectile dysfunction and 5-10% had retarded or inhibited ejaculation. Thirty to 36% of cocaine abusers reported erectile dysfunction. Alcohol abuse frequently develops along with cocaine dependence, and the reverse is also common.
Cocaine is a potent dopamine agonist, and chronic cocaine abuse may result in hyperprolactinemia or a dopamine deficiency with sexual dysfunction. Chronic cocaine or alcohol abuse often leads to decreased libido and performance. In addition, acetylcholine turnover usually increases when dopamine is depleted. Therefore, cocaine- and alcohol-induced catecholamine depletion may activate acetylcholine, which further contributes to hyperprolactinemia and sexual dysfunction. In addition, abuse of these substances alters serotonin, acetylcholine, hormones, and other neuroendocrine functions.
Cocaine Effects on Teeth
Cocaine users experience an increased rate of tooth decay for a variety of reasons: the drug contributes to xerostomia, the user does not seek regular professional care or perform regular personal oral care, and they may rub the drug directly onto the gingival tissue resulting in tooth erosion.
Users sometimes rub cocaine over their gums, causing ulceration of the gums and the underlying bone. Cocaine mixed with saliva creates an extremely acidic solution that erodes tooth enamel and exposes the underlying dentine to decay-causing bacteria. Cocaine and crack cocaine cause dry mouth, which further increases the risk of tooth decay.
Cocaine can cause tooth wear by tooth grinding (bruxism). Clenching and grinding contribute to the destruction of the supporting structures leading to cervical abrasion and occlusal wear.
Cocaine and Dopamine
The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they originate with a psychoactive drug like cocaine, a monetary reward, a sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal. In the brain, pleasure has a distinct signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells lying underneath the cerebral cortex. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is so consistently tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to the region as the brain’s pleasure center.
All drugs of abuse, from cocaine, and nicotine to heroin, cause a particularly powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The likelihood that the use of a drug or participation in a rewarding activity will lead to addiction is directly linked to the speed with which it promotes dopamine release, the intensity of that release, and the reliability of that release.
Even taking the same drug through different methods of administration can influence how likely it is to lead to addiction. Smoking cocaine or injecting it intravenously, as opposed to swallowing it, for example, generally produces a faster, stronger dopamine signal and is more likely to lead to drug abuse.
In the normal neural communication process, dopamine is released by a neuron into the synapse, where it can bind to dopamine receptors on neighboring neurons. Normally, dopamine is then recycled back into the transmitting neuron by a specialized protein called the dopamine transporter. If drugs like cocaine are present, it attaches to the dopamine transporter and blocks the normal recycling process, resulting in a buildup of dopamine in the synapse, which contributes to the pleasurable effects of cocaine.
The cocaine euphoria or high, also known as cocaine intoxication, is one of the most widely recognized cocaine effects among cocaine users. The high is often the main reason for taking cocaine. This is true for people who are experimenting with cocaine use, are occasional cocaine users, binge cocaine users, and people in the early stages of cocaine addiction.
The cocaine high involves psychological changes, which are changes to how the person thinks and feels emotionally, as well as physical changes. Some of these changes are caused by the effects of cocaine on the brain and nervous system, and some are due to personal feelings that the cocaine user brings to the experience.
This is why, although there are similarities among cocaine users’ experiences of the cocaine high, the effects of cocaine are different for each person. So although aspects of cocaine intoxication are common among cocaine users, they may experience some, but not all, of these cocaine effects.
Can a Person Become Addicted to Cocaine?
All forms of the drug are highly addictive. Some people can get addicted after using it for a short time. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, but it may be hard to recognize an addiction to it. Craving Cocaine and ignoring the consequences that come with it are signs of an addiction.
The psychological addiction is often the hardest part to overcome, although there are undeniable physical symptoms of addiction as well. Someone who uses Cocaine frequently will develop a dependence on it, meaning they need to have it in order to feel normal. Once dependence has developed, a tolerance will develop and withdrawal symptoms will occur when stopping use.
Once someone becomes addicted to Cocaine, it can be very hard to stop. This is because Cocaine abnormally increases the level of dopamine in the brain, eventually reprogramming the brain reward system.
The user can become addicted to cocaine after the first use, due to its powerful effects and sensations of pleasure and feelings of intense well-being, a sense of feeling more mentally alert, and heightened sexual arousal. Repeated exposure to cocaine results in neuroadaptation. This includes sensitization or increased drug response, and then tolerance or decreased drug response. In other words, your body will crave to use more of the drug to get the same effect.
Physical signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Unhealthy weight loss
- Increased heart rate
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Heart arrhythmia
- Heart attack
Psychological signs of cocaine addiction include:
- Impaired judgment
- Repetitive or abnormal behaviors
Cocaine Addiction Treatment Near Me
First and foremost, if you think that a loved one is abusing cocaine, you should first research the drug and addiction associated with it so that you can better understand what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, make sure that you offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire treatment process.
In addition, prolonged Cocaine use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you get through the early stages of withdrawal promptly. Now that revealed the “10 Interesting Facts About Cocaine” it can be a good start in learning more about cocaine addiction.
Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
- Solution Focused Therapy – is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
 NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states
 SAMHSA – https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf
 NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
 NCBI – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22934772/
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