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What is cocaine Side effects, addiction, overdose, and treatment

cocaine is obtained from the leaves of a plant called Erythroxylon coca, also known as the coca plant, and has an addictive and stimulating effect. Although it was used for medical purposes in the past, its use is now considered illegal because it has been abused many times. Cocaine, which is marketed as a drug substance, is in a white, crystal-like powder form. It prevents the breakdown of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. This increases the level of these molecules in the brain, which leads to addiction among cocaine users.

What is cocaine

Cocaine (coke, snow, coke, crack) is an intoxicating drug that has a strong effect on the brain. In addition to being addictive, it can lead to psychotic behavior and even death. It is produced in its pure form from the plant "Erythroxylon coca".

In the past history the cocaine leaves were used next to the church processions as well Local anesthesia used. After discovering America, the Spanish explorers discovered the coca plant and its effect on the mind and prohibited its use in a very short time.

The story of cocaine

After 1850, cocaine was widely used in Western medicine for its effects. The stimulating effects of local anesthesia were discovered by the pharmacologist and psychologist Sigmund Freud and the ophthalmologist Karl Koller. Koller first used cocaine in cataract surgeries and subsequently cocaine has been used in all surgical procedures where anesthesia was used.

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It was also added to Coca-Cola for a while, but then made illegal in the 1960s due to increasing violations. In the 1970s, however, its use became quite popular in America. Cocaine is no longer used as a drug because of its psychological and physiological negative influences as well as its addictive properties. It is forbidden to keep it ready and to use it in our country.

Forms and uses of cocaine

Cocaine has two forms, a powder and a cocaine derivative. While the powder form is water-soluble, the cocaine derivative is used in cigarette form. The main methods of use of cocaine are by breath (or nasal drawing), injection, and in cigarette form.

In connection with the type of use, the risk also increases. The addictive effect develops faster when used in the form of a pull-in through the nose. With the cigarette form, on the other hand, excessive amounts of cocaine are directed more quickly to the brain and cause the cocaine effect to develop more quickly.

Properties of cocaine

Pharmacology of cocaine

Cocaine, the first molecule used as a local anesthetic, was used in eye, dental and other surgical procedures. It prevents the electrical stimulation within the nerve cells and thus shows its effect. At the same time, it ensures the restoration of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain and prevents decomposition.

Excretion of these molecules at a high level causes constrictions in the veins, accelerated pulse (very fast beating heart), sudden increase in blood pressure, ventricular rhythm and epilepsyseizures. In addition, the pupils become larger and the blood sugar and body temperature are high.

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How does cocaine affect the mind, what do the addicts feel?

When taking cocaine, dopamine increases very quickly in the brain. The person's self-confidence also increases and one becomes an outgoing and social person. The person falls into great happiness and joy of movement. Furthermore, the speed of the heartbeat increases and the blood pressure increases.

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Risks and side effects of cocaine

Cons of cocaine on the brain

Cocaine increases serotonin, norepinefrin and dopamine levels, which are considered chemical drains in the brain. Normally, these molecules return to the excreted cell and stop the transmission between the nerve cells. When cocaine is used, on the other hand, these molecules are not absorbed into the cell; their number between the nerve cells increases and disrupts contact.

The flow of seratonin, norepinefrin and dopamine that takes place in the brain increases cocaine consumption, because the brain gets used to the level of cocaine consumption and, if less, withdrawal symptoms occur.

Harm of cocaine to the heart

Cocaine use can lead to cardiovascular and cerebral diseases such as fibrillation, heart attack, or paralysis, which can lead to sudden death. The deaths usually occur from cardiac or respiratory arrest. Excessive use of cocaine leads to difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, fever, hallucinations and severe nervousness.

Mental health problems caused by cocaine

Since the frightening effects of cocaine occur directly via the substances excreted in the brain, the psychological effects are also quite noticeable. While in use the person is very lively, talkative and their self-confidence is very high, they get an aggressive and depressed state of mind if they have not used cocaine. Furthermore, psychotic behaviors and paranoia develop. As a result, severe nerve attacks occur.

Harm of cocaine on physical health

Cocaine can have both moderate and severe physical effects. The moderate effects:

  • Conversation
  • Decrease in sleeping and appetite positions
  • Increase in sight, hearing and touch
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle twitching
  • Enlargement of the pupils
  • Difficulty relaxing and irritation

More serious side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremble
  • Dizziness
  • Increase in heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Fast breath and difficulty breathing
  • Cruel behavior
  • heart problems

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Long-term effects of cocaine

  • Loss of sense of smell when feeding through the nose, nosebleeds, persistent nasal discharge, and difficulty swallowing
  • Heaviness Infections such as asthma, cough, and respiratory diseases lung infection among cigarette users

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  • Those who take it orally develop severe constipation from reduced blood flow
  • In those who take it by endovenous injection, it can cause HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-infected diseases, skin and soft tissue infections, skin wounds, and vasoconstriction
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • depression
  • Paranoia, psychosis and nervousness
  • Disorders in sexual functions
  • High blood pressure and fibrillation
  • Heart disease and death

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The effects of cocaine in overdose

Ingesting cocaine in overdose can lead to fatal and very serious side effects. This overdose can occur both consciously and unconsciously. Overdose deaths can occur even on first use. For some people, taking cocaine with alcohol can increase the risk and lead to an overdose.

Lethal combinations arise when used with other drug substances. Some people experience serious effects such as arrhythmias, heart attacks, epilepsy crises, and paralysis. Difficulty breathing, hypertension, high fever, hallucination and nervous crises can be noted as further side effects of an overdose.

How does cocaine addiction develop?

As with other addictive substances, addiction develops over a long period of time as it affects the normal functions of the brain. The brain needs more dopamine than usual, and that need is met by ingesting cocaine.

How do you notice someone is addicted to cocaine?

Epistaxis and persistent nasal discharge can be seen in those who draw the cocaine through their noses. In addition, the suspicion of cocaine addiction can arise if someone, as with other addicts, shows bad behavior such as theft and lies in order to get the cocaine, and withdrawal symptoms are noticed.

Cocaine Deprivation and Crisis

When cocaine addicts stop using it, they experience some annoying symptoms, also known as withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms begin 1-2 days after the last use, worsen between the 4th and 7th days and last about 10 weeks.

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These appearances take place in 3 stages;

  • depression - Nervousness, intense hunger attacks, cocaine crises, fatigue (in the first few days)
  • deprivation- Cocaine crisis, energy depletion, nervous crises, constant feeling of bad shape, insomnia and nightmares (can last up to 10 weeks)
  • exhaustion - periodic cocaine crises

Cocaine addiction can be overcome with proper treatment and support.

Treatment of cocaine addiction

How do you overcome cocaine addiction?

Cocaine is excreted by being broken down in the liver. Can be detected in the urine eight days after use.

Due to the increasing number of cocaine addicts worldwide, intensive work is being carried out on the further development of the treatment programs. Cocaine addiction is a complicated problem that not only involves biological changes in the brain, but also social, family and environmental factors. Addiction therapy builds on the psychological, biological, social and medication attitudes.

Pharmacological Approaches

Specifically, there is currently no medication that can cure cocaine addiction. However, studies on the active ingredients and confidence of some drugs are ongoing. There are some promising findings with two active ingredients, called topiramate and modafanil.

The active ingredient, known as Baklofen, has also produced positive results in cocaine addicts with advanced addiction. In the early stages of cocaine abuse, some antidepressants can also produce effective results. There are also medication options for emergencies due to excessive cocaine use.

Cocaine addiction therapy

In the treatment of cocaine addiction, more decisive results are achieved when behavior therapy is combined with medication. With an active ingredient, also called disulfiram, used in the treatment of alcohol addiction and then followed by behavioral therapy, the results were judged to be quite influential.

It is also quite important that the treatment meets the patient's needs. Some types of treatment with reward can also show success in the treatment of addiction.

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Recommendations for those who want to get rid of cocaine addiction

  • Avoid making contact with people who use or obtain drug substances
  • Build a strong social environment
  • Participate in relief efforts such as voluntary organizations
  • Build a healthy outlook on life. Habits like exercise, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and getting regular sleep will do you good.
  • Make plans for the future
  • Develop a positive outlook on life.
  • Visit your doctor regularly, do not neglect the check-ups.
  • Get used to activities such as meditation that can increase your powers of awareness.

Credentials: 1- What is cocaine ?, 2- Cocaine and mental health, 3- Cocaine


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