What Is Cocaine?
Cocaine is an extremely addictive stimulant drug extracted from coca leaves, and it comes from the coca plant Erythroxylon Coca. It’s primarily sourced from South America and is typically ingested in a powder form, though there are other methods of consumption.
People in South America have actually been eating cocaine via the ingestion of coca leaves (Erythroxylon Coca) for thousands of years.
However, it’s only been a little over 100 years since the purified chemical (cocaine hydrochloride) has been consumed in the more commonly used powder form, and has been known to be combined with other substances.
Cocaine has been used to treat illnesses in the past, and before the advent of anesthesia, it was actually used for pain prevention during surgery.
While cocaine did have some initial perceived health benefits, such as a burst of intense energy and its use as a form of painkiller/pain relief tool, it was also found that the drug triggers health problems and has led to drug addiction.
How Is Cocaine Administered?
The Different Methods of Cocaine Consumption
Users of cocaine typically snort cocaine in powder form, although it does come in different forms. Cocaine powder (hydrochloride salt) can also be injected into the bloodstream.
There are also other methods of consumption; for instance, some users prefer eating cocaine, while other users opt to smoke the substance by combining powder cocaine with water and baking soda in order to create crack cocaine.
In addition to eating cocaine or consuming it via the more common methods, cocaine users also have been known to mix cocaine with more potent drugs such as heroin, for a more intensified high.
Mixing Cocaine With Other Drugs
Mixing is an even greater form of substance abuse. This is due to the fact that you are exposing your body to a range of different risks associated with the drugs you have taken.
Taking several different types at the same time could overwhelm the body, and this drug abuse puts users at an increased risk of sudden death in the form of a drug overdose.
Initial Symptoms of Cocaine Use
After taking regular cocaine or crack cocaine, users can expect to experience a high that can last anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes. Since the high wears off quickly, it is likely that users who are addicted will take several doses in order to prolong the effects.
Another reason for users taking several doses at once is to avoid the potential symptoms of withdrawal.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
According to the National Library Of Medicine, cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include a ‘crash’ sensation. While the user is experiencing this phenomenon, they will likely experience a strong craving.
Users will probably not be subjected to any physical symptoms, however, they may endure other symptoms such as:
- Feeling frequently agitated
- Severe anxiety
- Severe feelings of hunger
- Brain fog or a subdued feeling
- An irritable feeling
Symptoms After Quitting
It is also possible for these symptoms to persist or recur even if the user has quit for a sustained period. This is because it can sometimes still be found in the bloodstream long after the last occasion that the user took it.
Cravings and feelings of depression can reportedly occur several months after a user has quit consuming cocaine. So while one might be successful in quitting the drug, they will need therapy and rehab to help them overcome the mental challenges associated with addiction.
It is also suggested that the ‘high’ that users experience with continued use will decrease rapidly, which is likely the reason behind why some users transition to harder drugs such as heroin in order to recreate the previous highs that they experienced.
Is It Possible to Eat Cocaine?
In short, yes it is possible to eat cocaine. Oral use of cocaine is typically performed to test the strength or quality of the drug. To test its quality, users will normally rub cocaine on their gums. If a user eats cocaine, it shouldn’t differ from other methods of consumption in terms of effect, although eating cocaine might potentially lead to digestive problems.
If the cocaine elicits a strong numbing sensation, it’s perceived to be of higher quality. It will appear that the purity of the cocaine is high, and will produce the desired effect the user is hoping for, i.e., a significant high.
The Health Risks Associated With Cocaine Addiction
If a user does eat cocaine, drink it, inject it, snort it, or smoke it, they may experience one or more of the following health risks:
- Feelings of restlessness, or an inability to sleep
- Increased feelings of anxiety
- Problems with the sex drive
- Frequent headaches
- An increased tendency to become violent or aggressive, or a change in the individual’s behavioral health
- Feelings of paranoia
- Pains in the chest, a potential heart attack, and muscle spasms
- High blood pressure
- A faster heart rate, or an irregular heartbeat
The Risks of Drinking and Eating Cocaine
Drinking or consuming cocaine orally can potentially cause health risks for users of cocaine because these methods enable it to hit the bloodstream quickly, and may cause problems to the digestive system.
This form of drug abuse with cocaine can lead to:
- A heart attack
- A coma
- A stroke
- Extreme weight loss (which could lead to eating disorders and other symptoms)
- Sudden death as a result of a cocaine overdose
Developing an addiction to cocaine drug will trigger symptoms of withdrawal if the user stops taking the drug (which all drugs are capable of to varying degrees). As mentioned earlier, these symptoms can last for a long time unless properly addressed.
Substance Abuse Treatment
As with all forms of drugs, there is always immediate treatment help available for users, and there is a range of treatment options for people aiming to begin the journey of their recovery from cocaine abuse.
It is clear that the effects of cocaine are significant and are not to be taken lightly. Regular addiction and crack cocaine addiction can cause people to have seizures, pain in various parts of the body, impair a person’s ability to have sex, and can cause significant changes in a person’s behavioral health.
Elsewhere, cocaine abuse can also lead to even more dangerous problems, such as cardiovascular issues, higher blood pressure, and even sudden fatality.
Substance abuse might be a challenge to overcome, but there are many other options in terms of addiction treatment and support for people hoping to achieve long-term recovery from the drug.
Types of Treatment Available
If individuals check themselves into a clinical practice like NP Addiction Clinic, they will be able to gain access to abuse assessment and treatment facilities, behavioral therapy, prevention support for relapses, inpatient and outpatient treatment, medication-assisted treatment, and whatever else may be available that is covered by the individual’s healthcare provider.
There are many national institutes around the US that offer people the opportunity to gain access to residential treatment, in a safe space. This enables them to achieve long-term recovery in an addiction treatment placement tailored to their individual needs.
The NP Clinic goes the extra mile by providing residents medically assisted treatment with coordinated care upon discharge, together with an alumni aftercare program, and much more.
If you’re suffering from cocaine addiction, or from any other form of addiction, make sure to check out NP Addiction Clinic to get the treatment that’s right for you, and begin your road to recovery today.