Cocaine commonly also has street names like, “coke”, “charlie”, “wash”, “rock” “crack” or “blow” is perhaps the most dangerously addictive drugs in the world.
Cocaine is a stimulant that can be found in both powdered and crack form. It is a white powder produced from the coca plant which is found mostly in South America. It is usually placed on a smooth surface such as glass and cut up with a razor blade, forming thin lines or trails which can then be sniffed up through a makeshift straw – commonly called "snorting" which is the most common form of consumption. It is usually absorbed through the lining of the nose. Repeated snorting of the drug can cause damage in the membranes of the nose. The other form of using cocaine is injecting it. ‘Crack’ cocaine is consumed by heating the rock in the pipe and inhaling the smoke. Depending on the method consumed, the “high” varies. The “high” achieved from cocaine use can last only for a short duration of time, which makes the person want to consume more quantity and more often.
Like any addict, a cocaine addict also chases the high he (or she) experiences in his first use and since the high doesn’t last for very long he consumes it frequently which also increases his tolerance towards it. Cocaine addiction is caused by the changes in the brain that increase the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Cocaine is also consumed by smoking in a pipe. The vapours in the lung hit the brain in about eight seconds, producing a massive high which lasts for around ten minutes, after which it needs repeating. That is why some people can easily get through a large amount of crack in an evening.
An estimated 1.9 million people (in USA) use cocaine each month. Research shows that adults between the age of 18-25 report higher rates of cocaine usage along with men abusing the drug more than women.
Cocaine withdrawal is extremely dangerous to deal with. One has to with extreme caution and good knowledge of it. Some of the symptoms in cocaine withdrawal that are observed are: anxiety, irritability, paranoia, excessive talking, restlessness, and feelings of superiority, euphoria, panic, irritation and fearfulness.
There a three phases of cocaine withdrawals:
Phase one: ‘the crash', developed rapidly by abruptly stopping heavy usage cocaine and is characterised by anxiety and irritability, exhaustion, increased appetite and decreased craving to use.
Phase two: ‘withdrawal’ is observed when the patient displays increased craving to use and poor concentration, Patients will display irritability and some lethargy which will go on for a few weeks.
Phase three: 'extinction', displays the patient having irregular moments of high craving to use in the context of external cues.
Withdrawal management is done by medication and eventually psycho-therapy to treat his/her addiction. Cocaine addiction like any other addiction is a ‘disease’ and can be treated by working on an effective recovery programme and cooperating with therapy provided in any treatment centre.
Hope Trust rehab provides safe, effective and confidential treatment for drug abuse at its international facility in India.