Cocaine is a white powder. Cocaine produces its psychoactive and addictive effects primarily by acting on the brain’s limbic system, a set of interconnected regions that regulate pleasure and motivation. It can be snorted up the nose or mixed with water and injected with a needle. Cocaine can also be cooked with baking soda and made into small white rocks, called Crack Cocaine. It’s called Crack because when the rocks are heated, they make a crackling sound. Crack is smoked in a small glass pipe.
Cocaine speeds up your whole body. Your heart beats fast. You talk, move, and think fast. Your body feels too hot. You might shake and twitch. You dont sleep or eat much.
Cocaine can make you feel happy and excited, but then your mood can change. You can become angry, nervous, and afraid that someone’s out to get you. You might do things that make no sense.
After the “high” of the cocaine wears off, you can “crash’ and feel tired and sad for days. You also get a strong craving to take the drug again to try to feel better. People who snort cocaine through the nose can get nosebleeds. They can even lose their sense of smell. Their nose may be runny all the time, like they always have a cold.
People who Inject (shoot up) cocaine will have marks where the needle went in, usually on their arms. People addicted to cocaine might take bigger doses or take it more often to get high. A cocaine high usually doesn’t last very long. So people take it again and again to try to keep feeling good.
When the user stops taking cocaine or runs out, within 3-24 hours they will start feeling withdrawal symptoms that make the user extremely sick.
Cocaine detox can last anywhere from 5-14 days. Length varies based on frequency of use and how long the use has lasted.
- You Feel Sick
Cocaine can cause stomach pain and headaches. It can make you shake, throw up, or pass out.
- No Appetite
Cocaine can make you not want to eat. Overtime, you might lose a lot of weight and get sick.
- Heart Attack and Stroke
Cocaine raises your blood pressure and makes your heart beat faster. This can hurt your heart. It can lead to a heart attack or stroke (brain injury from a blood-clot). Some people die because of it.
It is easy to lose control over cocaine use and become addicted. Then, even if you get treatment, it can be hard to stay off the drug. People who stopped using cocaine can still feel strong cravings for the drug, sometimes even years later.
People who inject (shoot up) cocaine can get HIV/AIDS or hepatitis (a liver disease) if they share used needles. People also get these diseases by having unsafe sex. They may forget to use condoms because they’re high on the drug.
If a pregnant woman uses cocaine, it can cause brain damage, which can lead to other health problems in the baby like birth defects or even miscarriage.
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