Teen Cocaine Addiction – How Cocaine Impacts the Body
A recent survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that about 3.8 million people aged 12 and older have used cocaine at least once in their lives. The report also shows that out of the 1.5 million current cocaine users, 1.4% were young adults aged 18 to 25 years. These are sobering statistics that confirm that cocaine use has become more common and widespread among the youths. Can the number be reduced? Yes, it can. With proper information and role models, teens can be encouraged to avoid cocaine use and stand up against peer pressure, which plays a major role in cocaine use among adolescents. Parents can also help reduce cocaine use among teens. To do this, they have to understand what cocaine is, its effects, symptoms and possible treatment.
What is cocaine?
Cocaine, also known as coke, snow, blow, rock or crack, is an addictive stimulant made from the coca plant. It is known to increases energy levels, alertness, and attention. It is the second most popular illegal drug in the U.S behind Marijuana. Coke comes in few different forms. The most common type is a fine white powder and can also come as solid rock crystals.
How it is used and how it works
There are different ways of using coke. Most cocaine users snort the fine white powder it into their nose, dissolve it in water, inject it with a needle, or rub it onto their gums. Others heat up the solid rock crystals and breathe the smoke into their lung.
When you inhale, snort, or inject cocaine, it enters your bloodstream and is delivered to the brain. The drug then stimulates increased production of dopamine, a chemical messenger in your body, and sends it to the part of the brain that controls pleasure. High levels of dopamine cause intense feelings of energy and alertness commonly referred to as ‘high’ feeling.
What effects does cocaine have on your health?
The use of cocaine has a verity of effects on your body. There are short-term effects and long-effects. Let’s take a look at these effects.
- Intense happiness
- Extreme sensitivity to sound, touch, and sight
- Paranoid feeling
- Decreased appetite
People who abuse coke more often may have more severe long-term effects and health problems, like:
- Heart attack, heart diseases, and stroke
- Mood problems
- Seizures and convulsions
- If you inject it, you may get infected with HIV or hepatitis
- Lung damage
- Sexual problems because it alters your ability to effectively experience pleasure.
- Regular intranasal use of cocaine can lead to loss of sense of smell, hoarseness, and swallowing problems, bleeding, and a chronically runny nose.
- Ingesting coke can result in severe bowel decay as a result of reduced blood flow.
The more you use cocaine, the more your mind and body begin to rely on the drug. This makes it hard for to sleep, think, or recall things from memory.
What are the signs and symptoms of coke abuse?
Parents and friends may notice a number of symptoms, which are visible during and after coke consumption:
- High activity levels
- Argumentative behavior
- Dilated pupils
- A runny nose
- Decreased appetite
However, it’s important to note that the above symptoms are not unique to cocaine use. More definitive warning symptoms of cocaine abuse include possession of kits used to prepare, inject, or snort cocaine:
- Burned silver spoons
- Needles and syringes
- Aluminum foils
There are many treatment options available for coke addiction and abuse. Counseling and other therapy treatments such as behavioral therapies and pharmacological treatments can be used to beat coke dependence and abuse. What is the meaning of behavioral therapies and pharmacological therapies?
Behavioral therapies are psycho-social treatments used by therapists to address motivation issues, reasons, and possible underlying problems associated with substance abuse. Behavioral therapy techniques are effective in patients struggling with cocaine abuse and dependence.
Pharmacological therapies refer to treatments administered to beat cocaine addiction by physiological means. This treatment uses medications that mimic cocaine but to a reduced or different extent. Doses used in this type of treatment are reduced or tampered with over time. This helps patients to work on abstinence and recovery from addiction.
Coke addiction affects everyone, from the rich to the poor. However, the prevalence of teen coke use is disturbing. If you are an addict or know a young person who is addicted to cocaine, we can help. Hillcrest has a teen cocaine addiction program that not only helps teen recover from cocaine addiction but also helps families recover from the chaos and destruction associated with cocaine dependence. Call us today!