Can You Eat Cocaine? The Dangers of Cocaine Use

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
  • Depression
  • Severe feelings of hunger
  • Nightmares
  • Brain fog or a subdued feeling
  • An irritable feeling
  • Fatigue
  • Paranoia

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
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Extreme weight loss (which could lead to eating disorders and other symptoms)
  • Sudden death as a result of a cocaine overdose

Cocaine Addiction

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.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine