Over the course of the past 15 years, cocaine use has risen sharply in the United States. With an estimated 5 million Americans using cocaine each year, the drug has found its way into more and more homes. Wreaking havoc on the mind and body, cocaine is a dangerous narcotic with potent, sometimes lethal effects. With the increase in Fentanyl production as well as the common practice of cutting cocaine with Fentanyl, there has never been a more dangerous time to be using. By learning more about the dangers of cocaine and the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, you can help someone suffering from cocaine addiction.
Cocaine is a Schedule I narcotic that primarily resembles a powdery white substance resembling flour or sugar. Originating from Columbia, cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca plant. When ingested, cocaine gives the user a short-lived but very intense high. The high from cocaine typically lasts between 30 minutes and one hour. The effects are often described as energizing and euphoric. Because the high is so short-lived, more and more cocaine must be used in order to get the same result. This can lead to using dangerous amounts of the drug as well as overdose.
Originally popularized during the drug wars of the 1980s, cocaine has reached near mythical status in the realm of Hollywood. Movies like Scarface and hit television shows such as Narcos have served to romanticize cocaine by showing it in a light of glamor and wealth. However, the truth behind the reality of cocaine use could not be further from this fantasy. In reality, cocaine ruins lives and tears families apart. Many once successful and passionate people have fallen victim to the dangers of cocaine use and had their livelihoods turned upside down. While cocaine use can be devastating, it is never too late to stop using and seek help.
The dangers of cocaine use are nothing short of terrifying. Cocaine ravages the mind and body, eating away until there is nothing that remains. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is in particular jeopardy when using cocaine. This is a crucial danger, as the prefrontal cortex is responsible for functions such as impulse control, mood regulation, and even personality traits. As more and more cocaine is used, the brain is rewired in a way that can severely damage cognitive function.
Memory problems are common in those struggling with cocaine addiction. As the brain is hollowed out, so too is the nasal cavity. As most users ingest cocaine through the nose, its use hollows out the nasal cavity, eventually causing a host of sinus problems.
Aside from the inherent dangers that cocaine already possesses, the presence of Fentanyl has made it even more perilous. More and more drugs are being cut with Fentanyl as a cheap way to get more out of the supply. In 2021, it was estimated that nearly 70% of all street cocaine contained some amount of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a highly dangerous synthetic opioid that can be lethal, even in very small doses. The risks already posed by cocaine with the added possibility of the presence of Fentanyl make cocaine nothing short of a nightmare.
Learning the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal can leave you better prepared to help a friend or loved one who is struggling with cocaine addiction. The severity of withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person, depending upon both their volume and length of use, as well as personal factors such as age, weight, etc.
Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal may include the following:
This list is not exhaustive, as each person’s individual factors may influence whether or not they exhibit these specific signs and symptoms.
Typically, cocaine withdrawal begins between one and two days after the last use. Next, there is typically a period of days where a user will experience a severe crash. This is when withdrawal symptoms can seem most severe and intense. It is also the period of time in which it is most likely that a user will relapse.
After this crash, there is typically a solid two-week period during which a person will experience less intense withdrawal symptoms as they detox. As mentioned previously, individual factors, the volume of use, and the possible presence of a polysubstance abuse problem can all alter the timeline for acute cocaine withdrawal.
Here at Retreat of Atlanta, we are waiting with open arms to help you every step of the way during your recovery journey. Located in Eatonton, Georgia, we provide a secure environment conducive to healing and tailored to your comfort. Allow our compassionate and professional staff to give you the tools necessary to reclaim your independence from addiction. There has never been a better time to take back your freedom and your life. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in your personal recovery journey.
We want to help as many people recover from the disease of addiction as possible. We are here 24 hours a day to help you detox from drugs and alcohol, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
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