Cocaine is one of the most abused, yet deadly stimulant drugs in various parts of the world. Stimulant drugs accelerate the brain’s production of the feel good hormone (dopamine), which is why its abusers seek it desperately. Unfortunately, the prolonged ingestion of cocaine gradually, but permanently affects the brains cells, in effect requiring users to ingest higher quantities of the drug for effects that could previously be achieved through lower quantities of the drug. Tolerance, dependence and cocaine addiction are the result of cocaine abuse. The symptoms of cocaine abuse depend on the stage of cocaine dependence, as well as the manner in which the drug is ingested.
There are two forms of cocaine; crystal/crack and powder. The powder form of cocaine is administered into the body via two ways; inhalation/ snorting and injection. People who inhale/snort powder cocaine count on the fact that the nasal cavity is a thin membrane that is packed with blood capillaries. Snorted cocaine dissolves quickly into the bloodstream through the thin membrane. Given the proximity of the nose to the brain, the cocaine-induced high is experienced almost instantly. People who inject powder cocaine dissolve it first, and then inject the solution under the skin or directly into blood veins.
The other form of cocaine is the crystal form. Cocaine crystals are often composed of cocaine and other impurities (chemicals, dirt, water, oil, etc.). Crack cocaine crystals are usually melted, and the liquid injected into the blood veins. The ingestion of this form of cocaine introduces even more harmful impurities into the blood, causing extreme mood swings and paranoia.
Overall symptoms and facts of cocaine addiction
Inhaling powder cocaine destroys the nasal membrane and a continuously bleeding or running nose, horse voice and painful swallowing comprise the symptoms of cocaine snorting. Skin rashes, irritation and scars, blood-related infections (such as hepatitis and HIV) and allergies constitute common symptoms of cocaine injection. Other cocaine addiction symptoms include increased heart rate, respiratory problems, digestive problems, heart attacks, paranoia and stroke. Blood-related infections result from the ingestion of impure cocaine, as well as the sharing of infected needles. Digestive problems arise from a damaged digestive system (mouth, stomach lining and intestines). Heart and respiratory problems result from the fact that the heart is overworked, and the respiratory system gets lined and damaged by cocaine particles.
Powder and or crack cocaine have adverse effects on the physical and mental health of addicts. Cocaine addiction is highly likely to develop in a cocaine user if intervention is not sought because cocaine molecules change the brain’s chemicals, building tolerance and dependence. Bleeding/ running nose or gums, paranoia, heart attacks, anxiety, digestive and respiratory complications, as well as blood-related infections comprise typical symptoms of cocaine addiction.
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