Cocaine may also be known by other names. “Blow,” “snow,” “flake”- many names for the same highly addictive stimulant drug. Although illegal here in the United States, cocaine has been used as a natural stimulant in South American countries for centuries. Cocaine, in its current form, was introduced in America around 100 years ago. For a time, physicians used it in various tonics and elixirs to address multiple conditions. It was even found in popular beverages and used as a form of surgical anesthetic. Before long, researchers and members of the medical community realized that although cocaine was effective as it was being used, it was dangerous and highly addictive. Regular cocaine use proved to have significant and harmful effects on users. Unfortunately, despite all we know about cocaine today, the drug is still responsible for a substantial number of overdose deaths each year. According to some statistics, cocaine was linked to one out of every five drug-related overdose deaths in America in 2017.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II substance. The U.S. Department of Justice and The Drug Enforcement Administration classify drugs based on their addictive potential and abuse rate. As a Schedule II substance, cocaine has a high potential for abuse and is considered highly addictive. Although some drugs require time for dependency and addiction to develop, experimenting with cocaine puts you at risk for developing an addiction to the drug’s effects in just one use.
The high produced when using cocaine far exceeds what the body is naturally able to achieve through the production of chemicals and neurotransmitters within the central nervous system. Unfortunately, the effects of cocaine are also short-lived. Those who struggle with a dependency on cocaine will begin using at higher and more frequent doses to maintain a consistent high. Without treatment, this can quickly lead to a dangerous and potentially fatal addiction to cocaine.
What Does Cocaine Look Like?
In its natural form, cocaine is a green leaf that is native to several South American countries. In these countries, indigenous populations still chew the leaves of the coca plant or brew them in tea to produce a mild stimulating effect similar to that of coffee. However, the effects are far more powerful when the coca leaves are processed into the powdered drug we’re all familiar with.
Once processed, cocaine may appear as a flake or rock before being purified into the fine white powder people recognize as cocaine. Powdered cocaine is the crushed version of the “flake” or “rock.” It is this form of cocaine and that people can snort or mix with liquids to inject intravenously.
The Signs of Cocaine Use in Women
The signs of cocaine use in women are similar to those seen in men. Early on, it may be challenging to detect cocaine addiction because many of the symptoms and effects on the body and brain are mild at first. However, it does not take long for the physical and psychological effects of cocaine addiction to amplify. If you or a loved one struggles with a cocaine addiction, the effects you may notice include appetite changes, dilated pupils, paranoia, excitability, sniffling or runny nose, and increased sociability.
As the dependency on cocaine grows, physical and possibly irreversible damage to vital body organs, including the heart and brain, occurs. As the addiction worsens, dangerous effects such as coma, heart attack, seizures, elevated blood pressure, and overdose-related death may occur.
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to cocaine, it is vital to seek help at an addiction treatment center immediately. Safely and successfully overcoming cocaine addiction requires the support and guidance of a skilled treatment team like ours at Casa Serena. To learn more about how our treatment at our women’s cocaine rehab can help you, contact our admissions team today.