Drug abuse has continued to plague societies around the world. In the United States, the peril has increasingly become prevalent with millions addicted to substances such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and others. Though the effects of drug abuse may vary from one drug to another, it should come as no surprise that abusing cocaine has the power to cause severe physical harm to the body, legal problems, and lead to a downward spiral in social life.
Methods of Abusing Cocaine
According to available information regarding substance use, abusing cocaine in any capacity can lead to addiction. Further, most researchers uphold that the habit isn’t just about how much of the drug you use; it’s also about how you use it. As a stimulant that has been abused for ages, users often consume the drug in varying ways. Some prefer to administer it via nasal insufflation (snorting), while others choose to inject or smoke it. Each of these methods of consumption is highly addictive, presents with unique dangers, and elicits its effects differently.
Understanding how the mode of abuse increases the level of addiction can help you identify the short-and long-term impacts that are likely to affect you or your loved ones. In this article, we take a look at how smoking, injecting or snorting crack can affect the level of addiction.
The Methods of Abusing Cocaine DO Factor into Addiction
In pharmacokinetics, drugs usually take different times to get to various stages from absorption, distribution, bioavailability, metabolism, to excretion. With cocaine, different modes of intake play a significant role in how the drug is absorbed into the body and then excreted.
According to recent research from the University of Montreal, the delivery method to the brain determines how long the drug stays in the body. The delivery method also controls how long it takes for effects to kick in. In turn, this influences the onset and level of addiction.
What Smoking Cocaine Does To Your Body
Smoking cocaine is the fastest way for it to get to the brain, according to Psychology Today. Cocaine is typically smoked using a glass water pipe or hand pipe. Also, it can be smoked by placing crack on a piece of tin foil. Generally speaking, the procedure involves heating a rock crystal (freebase cocaine) to produce vapors that are inhaled into the lungs. The lungs then absorb the smoke into the blood via the permeable membrane and the drug reaches the brain in less than 10 seconds.
Smoking cocaine produces a temporary high that lasts for up to ten minutes. The fact that a lot of the drug reaches the brain straight away without being processed by the liver elicits a delightful euphoric sensation known as a rush. Once the instant high dies down, cocaine’s lasting effects start and often run the gamut from moderate to severe or even life-threatening.
Since the first impacts of crack diminish pretty fast, sometimes users tend to stack up doses before the euphoria wears off. In due course, this habit leads to the more rapid development of abusing cocaine compulsively. Additionally, “Crack’s” overall short-term effects and smoking itself further intensifies the drug’s addictive ability, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Frequently, long time crack users suffer from sleep deprivation, malnutrition, increased blood pressure and heart rate. Other health effects associated with smoking cocaine include; weakened immune system, respiratory problems, kidney damage, liver damage, and heart damage.
What Happens When You Inject Cocaine?
Crack cocaine can also be injected intravenously. Injecting the drug directly into the blood is believed to be the second fastest way to get a drug to the brain. Usually, once introduced into the bloodstream, the drug goes through the circulatory system and finally to the mind. Here, the drug prevents the neurotransmitter dopamine from recycling, causing in excess amounts of dopamine to build up between nerve cells. The dopamine is the natural chemical messenger in your body that controls pleasure. The buildup of the chemical causes an intense feeling of euphoria, energy, and alertness (the high). Within a short while, the user may have terrible cravings for a stronger dose to feel the same euphoric high. At this point, the user tends to take cocaine in a binge pattern – taking the drug in increasingly large dose within short periods. Soon or later the brain will adapt to the drug. This often induces more dangers of cocaine use, which ultimately place the user at a higher risk of overdose as well as increase the rate of addiction onset. In most cases, people who inject the drug run all the risks associated with injecting, including contraction of diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV, allergies reactions, infections and puncture scars.
Snorting (shooting) influences addiction the least as far as the three modes of administering cocaine are concerned. For a long time, the standard way of abusing cocaine has been by snorting the white powder up the nose. The method refers to sniffing the drug aggressively through the nasal cavity often with a loud, harsh sound.
Typically, the crystal-like powder works by speeding the central nervous system including the brain and the spinal cord. When snorted, the drug skips the digestive system (i.e., liver) where it would otherwise undergo the initial round of processing (metabolism). Instead, the drug goes straight to the bloodstream through the thin membranes in the sinus, and then to the brain. Unlike smoking cocaine, snorting the drug takes a few seconds to produce a high, but then the high lasts approximately twenty minutes, thus influences addiction the least. General effects of snorting include hoarseness, problems with swallowing, loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, sinusitis, and irritation of the nasal mucosa and sometimes perforation of the nasal septum.
Cocaine Dependence and Withdrawal
Cocaine is one of the most potent stimulants on the market with high addiction potential. Regardless of the method of intake, the bottom line is that the brain and body tend to develop a physical dependency on the drug’s effects with time.
With further consumption, the brain reward system perceives cocaine as an essential substance for survival. During this stage, the user centers all his or her priorities, motivations, behaviors and thoughts on getting and using the drug. To some extent, they can borrow money from financial institutions, steal, or even put themselves through a lot worse to get cocaine.
When the dose is not available at the anticipated level, withdrawal symptoms will start to show. Towards the end of use, usually one day after a binge, the user may experience cocaine crush: extreme depression, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, increased hunger, lack of energy and motivation. On the onset of cocaine withdrawal, within the week of last use, symptoms may include: cravings, paranoia, dysphoria, changing moods low energy and trouble concentrating.
Take Back Your Life With About Addiction
As with any drug abuse, treatment is the first and most important step for users who desire to seek help to beat addiction and stop abusing cocaine. Therefore, if you or any of your loved ones are stuck with coke like a moth does on a light, call us now for confidential drug treatment help. Our well-trained team will help you reach your ultimate goal of safe detox through a gradual and secure process that will promote, teach and enforce abstinence.