There are various drugs that are commonly abused. They are considered to be abused because they are addictive and have consequences that are considered undesirable by the society. Among abused drugs is cocaine. Cocaine is a substance that is obtained from the coca plant. The users inhale cocaine after heating it or use in as a powder. When in powder form cocaine is called crack. Cocaine can also be smoked or injected. Other names for cocaine include “coke, nose candy, snow or toot” (MedicineNet.com 2010, p. 1). Whether using small amounts or large amounts of cocaine the users are affected and have symptoms. This essay will discuss the positive and negative effects of cocaine and also the signs and symptoms of intoxication of cocaine. It will also give possible treatment for cocaine users.
Effects of cocaine
Cocaine has effects depending on the duration of use. Some effects are experienced shortly after use while other are experienced after using the drug for a long time. Even after abandoning the use of cocaine users experience withdrawal problems (Buddy 2011, p.1).
Positive effects of cocaine
Cocaine is used by some individuals to increase attentiveness and energy. The drug brings feelings of pleasure and is entertaining to the users. This is due to the fact that blood flow becomes fast and the heart beat increases. As a result the individual enjoys the feeling and is able to relax. This effect is associated to the initial use and for those who use it without overdosing (MedicineNet.com 2010, p. 1).
Cocaine has negative physical effects on the individual. They may suffer from health problems and may end up losing their live. The body depends on the drug and hence the addiction causes the person to be enslaved. The body may become weak due to poor eating habits.
Use of cocaine affects the user’s social life. The person may become violent to close members of the family. The behavior change may become a basis for conflict that will lead to separation in marriage. The drug makes one aggressive and thus under the influence of cocaine a person can commit crime. Thus they may become members of a criminal gang.
Economically, the cocaine dependent individual may perform poorly at work and neglect their responsibility. They may fail to report at work or perform dissatisfactory work. Consequently, they may lose a career and become unemployed. For student, they similarly perform poorly at school and may be prone to absenteeism. This is because most time may be spend in the acquisition and use of cocaine rather than in studying. When there are inadequate funds to purchase the drug they may be involved in crime to acquire cocaine (Buddy 2011, p.1).
Signs and symptoms of intoxication
After the beneficial effects of cocaine wear out, the person becomes angry and ill-tempered. The person taking cocaine experiences a decline in appetite. The person’s first symptom is increased use of cocaine in place of eating food. In some cases, the individuals suffer from infertility. This is because the individual health is affected by the use of cocaine.
When the use of cocaine is stopped, people who are dependent become stressed and may attempt to take their life. This is because the blood flow has decreased pressure and the person becomes unhappy. The suicidal feelings are associated with cocaine users because of the after effect of when drug levels are low in the body.
When used in large amounts, cocaine can cause an individual to be unruly and becomes violent due to the effect. The continued use of cocaine makes one change in behavior where in most cases they become detached from reality. In some cases the results may be loss of life related to increased heart rate and heart problems like heart failure. Another behavior attributed to use of cocaine is unsafe sex that the addicts may engage in (Buddy 2011, p.1).
After extended continued use the person’s health is affected as Buddy (2011, p.1) mentions. They show symptoms that include body pains and heart problems. Problems such as nose bleeding and pain while swallowing are also common in addicts. They may contract diseases when they share needles for injecting the drug. Some diseases like hepatitis B may be contracted where there is contact with infected blood.
The danger with taking cocaine is that it is addictive and the users continue increasing the amount of intake as they progress with the use of cocaine. Therefore the symptoms of intoxications go hand in hand with the amount used and the length of the period used. As already mentioned the blood and heart rate increase, this is because the person has narrowed blood veins and arteries. The person also has dilated pupils of the eyes.
Another sign of intoxication is the mood swings that the addict manifests. They may become very happy and become friendly to the surroundings. Then suddenly, they become sad and have delusions when the drug effect reduces. Whenever under the influence, the dependent users of cocaine show different emotions as to when they are without influence.
The person can stop using the cocaine and seek for treatment. The period after complete abstinence of cocaine can be difficult to people who had formed dependency due to the withdrawal signs and thus they can seek medical help. They can also visit a rehabilitation centre where they can get professional help.
MedicineNet.com (2010, p. 5) notes that the environment as well as the people surrounding the addict play a role in the treatment of cocaine dependency. They can give support during the treatment and show love. Additionally, the family members and friends can ensure that they do not get access of the cocaine by either giving limited allowance or engaging them in activities that will divert their attention. Younger children need to be encouraged to live a drug free life and be supported to complete their education so that they grow to be responsible adults.
Cocaine is a drug with little positive effects and more negative effect. It affects one physically, socially and economically. The signs and symptoms include mood changes, health problems and loss of appetite. Blood vessels become narrowed and blood pressure and heart rate increase. With time the patient develops heart failure and may end up losing their life. It is possible to get treatment after developing dependency. The person can withdraw from the substance use. When withdrawal symptoms manifest they can get professional help. The rehabilitation programs for people with cocaine dependency can help people successful stop abusing the drug. The family and friends of the person with the drug addiction can also offer support during treatment.
Buddy, T (2011). The health effects of cocaine: Short term and long term effects. Web.
MedicineNet.com. (2010). Cocaine and crack abuse. Web.