What is Cocaine And Cocaine Long Term Effects

Cocaine is derived from the coca plant, which is found in South America. It is very addictive and there are many immediate effects of cocaine, which is why it is a highly favored by many drug seekers. Cocaine use has become very popular amount 8th-12th graders and in 2014 alone 1% of 8th graders admitted to using cocaine at least once in the past year.

In 2013, it was estimated that over 24.6 million individuals over the age of 12 had used some sort of illicit drug, within the past months (NIH). In this same year there were over 20,000 fatalities linked to prescription overdoses and over 5,000 linked to cocaine (NIH).

Where Does Cocaine Come From?

Cocaine is manufactured from the leaves of the coca plant, this occurs at hidden, illicit laboratories. Plants that are grown in cooler climates will have the highest content of cocaine, which makes them more sought after, by drug dealers. The coca plants are stripped down into a paste form and then undergo further synthesizing processes, until it becomes suitable for street-level purposes.

Harmful chemicals are used to breakdown the leafs to remove the cocaine liquid. Diesel fuel, kerosene, lime, and salt are mixed into the coca leafs for 3 days. Then the cocaine extract goes through a heating process to omit any wax that was left behind. Sulfuric acid is used to covert the free base cocaine into a sulfate.

Once the cocaine becomes a paste, it must undergo a purification process, so that it is safe for human consumption. The cocaine hydrochloride is eventually converted into crack cocaine (rock form), by using a cooking process that involves the use of sodium bicarbonate. Crack cocaine is most often smoked in a glass crack pipe.

Behaviors Of An Addict

Most cocaine addicts will exhibit erratic behavior, because they become delusional and paranoid. The effects of cocaine can vary, but most users will exhibit suicidal and homicidal ideations.

Daily cocaine use effect will range from irritability to paranoia, while the long term effects of cocaine will be even more erratic and dramatic, along with severe paranoia that is uncontrollable. The short term effects of cocaine will range from auditory hallucinations to a total lose of reality.

Physical Signs of Drug Use

  • Mood Swings
  • Isolation
  • Poor Personal Hygiene and Grooming
  • Loss of Interest in Activities that were once enjoyed
  • Insomnia or Increased Sleeping
  • Runny or Congestion Nasal Passages
  • Behavioral Changes
  • Irritability
  • Glassy Eyes

Causes of Drug Addiction

  • Heredity
  • Environmental Factors (friends, family drug use will encourage the individual to follow in integrate into this behavior)
  •  Changes in the Neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, serotonin)

Side Effects of Cocaine Use

Since cocaine is most often snorted or inhaled, the user will experience an immediately euphoria and ecstasy that is highly desirable. After 20 minutes has lapsed, the user will become very irritated and restless. To avoid this downturn of emotions, the individual will smoke again.

Cocaine Tolerance

After a long term use of cocaine, the user will begin to have a tolerance  or dependence to the cocaine. In order to achieve the same euphoric high, the user will need to use more cocaine or increase the dose, just to receive the same high.

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Since most cocaine addicts will have an “invincible feeling”, it makes them at a higher risk for overdose. Cocaine causes the heart to speed up and work harder, which leads to myocardial infarction (heart attack) and CVA (stroke). Other symptoms include:

  • Hypertensive Crisis
  • Cardiac Failure
  • Convulsions
  • Hyper-alertness
  • Fear and Panic
  • Hyper-talkative
  • Tachycardia (increased pulse)
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Delirium

Fatal Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose

  • Vomiting
  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
  • Respiratory failure
  • Hyperthermia (increased body temp)
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage
  • Organ failure
  • Unconsciousness
  • Severe Abdominal Pain