The Coca-Cola company’s original signature drink was a combination of caffeine and cocaine. Introduced in 1886, the premier recipe maintained that mixture until 1903. By then the addictive nature of cocaine caused the company to remove this part of the recipe from their top-line soft drink.
Over time cocaine, or coke, was considered to be just a party drug. The mystique of Hollywood elites and business executives hitting the rolled up “bills” to sniff this powder made for some powerful movie scenes. Athletes would hit the nightclubs and abuse cocaine on a regular basis.
Coke, is not just an addiction of the those in the limelight. Everyday people have been swept up in the addictive nature of this drug and have gone through rehab from cocaine. If someone you know, or maybe even yourself, is doing cocaine, we have all the facts in this article.
So What is The Story of Cocaine?
Before discussing addiction, we first must understand what is cocaine?
The coca plant is the base to this stimulant drug known as cocaine or coke. Native to South America, this addictive property of the coca plant is a huge part of the culture. Early in its discovery, cocaine was considered to have healthy medicinal purposes.
Cocaine was touted as a wonder-drug by early medical experts. In the 1880’s, the well-known young doctor, Sigmund Freud sought to promote the new discovery of cocaine. In a letter to his wife in Vienna, Freud wrote,
“If all goes well, I will write an essay on it and I expect it will win its place in therapeutics by the side of morphine and superior to it. … I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success.”
Non-medical notables, such as inventor Thomas Edison, spoke highly of this “miracle drug.” With so many famous people of the day praising cocaine, one might wonder if they were experiencing any form of cocaine addiction? It is believed that Freud experimented with cocaine that became an addiction.
Through the next century, coke was finding its place in many hospitals and clinics around the world. Used as an anesthetic, some health care providers utilized it as part of their surgical procedures. That would change over time.
However, research concluded that cocaine displayed addictive properties. Because of this research, many in the healthcare community dropped using cocaine in anesthesia.
Statistics That Tells the Story That Cocaine Addiction Still Is an Issue.
Cocaine addiction still permeates our society. The use of this substance may have peaked in the 1980’s and 90’s; but it still exists as a problem. Second only to marijuana as addictive, coke still represents a big problem. Some important facts about cocaine addiction include:
- Based on information from a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, just under 5 million Americans stated they had experimented with cocaine in 2012, and these were people over the age of 12.
- Cocaine use has diminished considerably among high-school students since the 1990’s.
- Close to 1 million people were diagnosed as dependent upon cocaine in a 12-month study of 2014
- A study (2011) by Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) indicated one in three of drug abuse emergency visits were cocaine related. Those visits added up to nearly 1.3 million totals.
Although the first couple of statistics show a profound drop in cocaine abuse among young people, it is still a problem. Coke still effects lives in our society.
Addiction to Cocaine Becomes a Big Issue.
Unfortunately, it was not long before cocaine became part of the street trade of illegal drugs. This fine, white powder started to become a drug of choice for Hollywood, athletes and other famous people. Because of their being drawn to cocaine, it wasn’t long before more and more Americans were attracted to this drug.
“We were talking briefly about cocaine… yeah. Anything that makes you paranoid and impotent, give me more of that! “
Although it’s popularity dipped in the 1980’s, cocaine still holds a position as one of the most addictive drugs in our society to today. Where it once was a choice as a party drug, coke now circulates in all segments of the country.
The abuse of cocaine is high compared to most drugs. It is rated as a Schedule II substance which means it is also highly addictive. In a relatively short time, cocaine can cause a person to become extremely dependent on the drug.
This also means that an individual may experience deep withdrawals if there is lengthy non-use of the substance. We will discuss the period of withdrawal of cocaine addiction a little later.
A Deadlier Form of Cocaine Known As “Crack” Cocaine.
Crack cocaine is the offspring of regular cocaine. It is made as a chemically processed form of coke. The white crystal powder of cocaine (cocaine hydrochloride) is processed in a mix of boiling water and ammonia (sometimes baking soda). As it cools, a solid is formed called Crack.
Unlike cocaine that is snorted or injected, a person using crack will most often smoke it in a glass pipe. Crack can be injected into the body as well. Interaction with crack is more severe than that of cocaine.
The high that results from crack is often less in duration then regular cocaine powder use. It usually results in an even deeper drop towards depression or being on edge.
Do You Know the Danger Signs of Cocaine Addiction?
There are certain behavior patterns to look for in someone dealing with heavy coke addiction. However, coke is used, dopamine stimulation can enhance in the brain. The side effect is continued may be considered acceptable on the part of the addicted person.
- There is a dramatic high that creates a euphoric state, but does not last very long.
- After a high, a noticeable drop occurs creating a feeling of major depression. When this happens, the person may seek more coke to reinvigorate the high euphoria.
Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction
- Quickened heartbeat and breathing function.
- Body temperature increase.
- Blood pressure on the rise.
- Possible nervous or violent tendencies.
- Muscle spasms and convulsions.
- Increased chest pain or discomfort.
- Vision blurs increasingly.
- Brain or heart failure.
- Emotional issues and feelings of isolation from loved ones.
- Deep depression and need for dependence upon others.
- Feelings that include irritability, restlessness, dietary problems, unable to sleep through the night.
- Damaged nasal and nose.
- Risk of HIV or hepatitis.
These are just a few coke warning signs to be aware with someone’s behavior. Personality changes will be affect as well.
How Does Cocaine Addiction Effects One’s Personality?
Many drugs may take time before someone experiences a personality sweep or change. That is not necessarily the situation where coke is concerned. The simple truth is cocaine impacts brain function to a high degree.
What happens is the brain gains an increased infusion of dopamine. The areas of the brain that handle emotion, movement and other responses are effected by this neurotransmitter. Over time the person begins to think that they need more cocaine, so brain activity gets tricked into changing priorities.
Some of the personality changes to keep an eye out for include:
- Increase in being abusive.
- More apt to unnecessary risks.
- Low threshold for stress.
- Increasingly moody.
The emotional and behavioral damage that is done from cocaine addiction can have a devastating effect for some time. If the person seriously wants to make changes towards the better, the first step is to quit the habit of cocaine. But that can be hard to do without making lifestyle changes. That means staying away from occasions and situations that promote the use of cocaine and crack.
Cocaine Withdrawal and What That Really Means.
When the person decides to begin a process of cutting back or ending the use of cocaine, there will be a period of cocaine detox or withdrawal. Their body has adapted to dependence upon cocaine and that has a physical effect. Cocaine use by a one-time experiment may even trigger a period of withdrawal. That is how addictive coke is on the human body.
By using cocaine the body has experienced a new revelation to the brain by the biochemical dopamine. Various aspects of the brain have been triggered to “enjoy” the new high that never occurred in the past. Now you remove the cocaine and the body goes through a drop from the brain being excited.
An empty feeling exists after this decline occurs. Compare that to the euphoria experienced when in a cocaine high, withdrawal occurs with this crashed feeling.
Physical symptoms are not as apparent being removed from other substances. Alcohol and opiates tend to bring on vomiting, nausea and other overt aspects. For someone coming down from addiction to cocaine, the results become more emotional or mental.
What one can look for with someone they care for going through withdrawal can include:
- Prolonged depression.
- Constant tiredness and fatigue.
- Feeling a lack of interest in doing anything.
- Slow reaction to activity or anything pf a physical nature.
- Desire to eat more often.
- Memorable dreams that are not always pleasant.
The desire to seek out cocaine again can rear its ugly head during this time of cocaine withdrawal. Be on the lookout for telltale indications of thoughts towards suicide
The time factor for a person going through coke withdrawal will not be slow in appearing. Once a person has dropped from their cocaine high, the symptoms of withdrawal are very quick in coming. Cravings for cocaine enter the picture before you have time to really notice. So be prepared to look for the signs.
Just as the symptoms of withdrawal will happen very fast, so the duration can be lengthy as a result. Urges for the substance may cause a cocaine addict seeking a new fix to settle them down. Sadly, many users have been known to go back to this addictive substance after a lengthy period.
Final Thoughts About Coke Addiction and Detox.
Cocaine addiction is not just a celebrity issue. As you can see from the facts, you can experience real problems that result from addiction to coke. Obviously, using “crack” has far harsher consequences.
Once upon a time, it may have seemed cool to experiment with cocaine by snorting and gaining that euphoric high. Hollywood movies played up the mystique that seemed to go along with this party drug. But even a one-time hit with this drug can be unforgiving.
The tell-tale results of cocaine use cannot be taken lightly. It affects you and everyone around you. Now is the time to take stock and realize that your addiction is bigger than you can handle alone.
Withdrawing from cocaine is a long process. Because it takes a while, your body and brain needs to detox from cocaine. Ask yourself, do you really feel this is something you can handle on your own?
Recovering from cocaine addiction can be a long process. Being helped and comforted by people that know how to make a difference may be the way you want to go. Your future is too important to just let slip away and quality detox facilities can aid you in making a new start.