What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is commonly snorted, injected, or smoked. Cocaine causes a short-lived, intense high that is immediately followed by the opposite—an intense feeling of low energy and depression. Dangers of cocaine include serious health consequences, such as heart attack and stroke. It can also lead to mental health problems, such as paranoia.
Cocaine is made of the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine is a white powder that is often cut with other substances, such as corn-starch, talcum powder, or flour.
What Does Cocaine Look Like?
Cocaine, also known as cocaine hydrochloride, is a white powder that is often cut with other substances, such as corn-starch, talcum powder, or flour. Very pure cocaine is sometimes called fish scale cocaine, as it can shimmer in a similar way to fish scales. This glistening effect can be emulated by other cuts.
Smoked cocaine is referred to as crack cocaine. Crack cocaine looks like small rocks or chips of white or tan color.
There are also a few substances that often get called cocaine, but do not contain any cocaine. Synthetic cocaine is a type of cocaine that has been created in a laboratory. It is often sold as a white or off-white powder. Drugs sold in this way may have effects similar to cocaine, but in reality could be anything. Taking synthetic cocaine can be even more dangerous than taking cocaine.
When someone sells something that they call “pink cocaine”, this is also not usually cocaine. Pink cocaine is a slang term for the synthetic drug 2C-B, which causes hallucinations in users.
Brown cocaine is cocaine that has been cut with an additive that is not the same color as cocaine. As with all other cocaine cuts, this cut may be deadly.
Physical Signs of Cocaine Use
Cocaine use can cause a number of changes in behavior and appearance. The most common signs of cocaine use include:
Sudden weight loss
One of the most common symptoms of cocaine use is sudden weight loss. This is because cocaine suppresses appetite. People who are using cocaine may go for long periods of time without eating, leading to them losing a significant amount of weight.
This weight loss is often accompanied by a change in sleeping patterns. People who use cocaine may find it difficult to sleep, as the drug keeps them feeling alert. This can lead to them being extremely tired during the day, which can further contribute to weight loss.
Another distinctive sign of cocaine use is nosebleeds. This is because cocaine is usually snorted through the nose, which can damage the delicate tissue inside the nostrils.
This damage can lead to bleeding, which may be occasional or constant, depending on how much cocaine the person is using. Nosebleeds are often one of the first signs that family and friends notice, as they can be difficult to hide.
When someone takes cocaine, they may repeatedly clench there jaw and move their jaw around. This is occasionally known as “coke jaw”. This physical phenomena can also be caused by other stimulant drugs.
Disregarding personal hygiene
Another of the visible signs of cocaine use is a disregard for personal hygiene. This is because people who are using cocaine often do not care about how they look, as they are more concerned with getting the drug.
This can lead to them not washing or changing their clothes, which can make them smell bad and appear unkempt. This is often one of the first signs that family and friends notice, as it can be very off-putting.
Other Signs of Cocaine Use
Not all signs of cocaine use are physical. Here are more signs that someone that you love might be using this drug.
Changes in mood
Cocaine use can cause significant changes in mood. People who use the drug may swing from feeling extremely happy to feeling very down. This is because cocaine causes a sudden release of dopamine, which gives the user an initial “high”.
However, this high is usually followed by a “crash”, during which the person may feel depressed and anxious. These mood swings can be extremely difficult to deal with, and can often lead to the person using cocaine again in order to try and escape these negative feelings.
Another common sign of cocaine use is financial problems. This is because cocaine is an expensive drug, and people who are using it often find themselves spending large amounts of money on it.
This can lead to the person getting into debt, or even resorting to criminal activity in order to get the money to buy cocaine. Financial problems are often one of the main reasons that people seek help for their addiction, as they can be extremely difficult to overcome.
Staying up for long periods of time without sleeping
Cocaine use can lead to people staying up for long periods of time without sleeping. This is because the drug keeps users feeling alert and awake.
This can be extremely detrimental to health, as it can lead to exhaustion and a weakened immune system. It can also make it difficult for people to concentrate and make rational decisions.
Acting more impulsively or recklessly than usual
Cocaine floods the brain with dopamine. This chemical causes pleasure, but it can also cause people to take risks that they would not usually take. For example, someone who has taken cocaine may speed in their car, endangering their own life and the lives of other road users.
This tendency to act in this way is increased when cocaine users also drink alcohol. This is because alcohol also reduces inhibitions. This combination is even more dangerous than just taking cocaine, as alcohol also slows down reaction times.
Increased secrecy and paranoia
People who use cocaine often become more secretive. They may start to lie about where they are going and what they are doing. This is usually because they do not want people to know that they are using cocaine, as they are aware that it is illegal and that others may judge them.
This secrecy can lead to paranoia, as the person becomes increasingly suspicious of others. This paranoia can be extremely destructive, as it often leads to the person losing trust in their friends and family, even when there is no reason to do so.
How To Get Help For A Cocaine Addiction
If you or a loved one is in the grip of a cocaine addiction, getting out of it can seem hopeless. But there is a way. Cocaine treatment at a drug rehab can help people struggling with this drug to find their way back to a healthy and productive life.
If you are planning to attend rehab, make sure that you attend a cocaine rehab. While all addictions have similar roots, cocaine addiction has nuances that are important to be aware of if it is treated successfully.
At Prosperity Haven, we have an excellent track record of treating people whose lives have become controlled by cocaine. Call us to find out how we can do the same for you.
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