When asked about their use of cocaine, you or someone you know may have insisted their use is only casual, and therefore not dangerous. The truth is that cocaine is a dangerous drug; so dangerous that it can be addictive or fatal in the smallest amount or first use, whether it’s smoked or inhaled.
A Brief History
Cocaine was considered very safe in the 19th century; so much so that it was first used as an anesthetic in surgery before becoming a household drug. Many beverages often contained cocaine, which promised mood and health-boosting benefits before it became a banned substance. It wouldn’t be until the 60s that cocaine became popular once again.
Its popularity soared in the next two decades, as it became more widely accepted as a social drug than alcohol and marijuana. Usage saw a decrease in the 90s with the awareness of its dangers, but, each year, cocaine continues to claim thousands of lives.
What Makes Cocaine Unsafe
Cocaine use raises blood pressure and causes the heart to beat rapidly, which can cause anxiety and paranoia. At the same time, it also causes constriction of the blood vessels to the heart and brain. When blood vessels constrict, blood flow to these areas is interrupted, resulting in heart attacks, strokes, and seizures.
In addition to all of the physical problems which can occur, cocaine can be made or “laced” with other substances meant to improve the high you get, but which can make the drug even more addictive and lethal.
Despite these serious potential consequences of using cocaine, the confidence and focus-enhancing effects of a cocaine high on the brain are what turn casual users into functioning coke addicts. Users will also seek more of the drug to alleviate the effects of withdrawal, such as mental fog, uneasiness, and agitation.
Is Cocaine Ever Safer to Use Than Other Drugs?
Trying cocaine to see what it’s like or just as a “party drug” may seem harmless enough at first. However, using it even one time can cause the creation of new, easily triggered circuits in the brain. Before the person knows it, a user’s brain demands more of the drug until cocaine addiction treatment is needed. At this point, the user may want to stop but will be unable to, unlike when one first tries the drug and may not want to stop, although they can.
Some think that cocaine is less addictive than other drugs such as meth or heroin. This may be because the use of meth and heroin often results in obvious and unattractive physical changes, such as marks on the skin and damage to the teeth, while cocaine’s effects seem invisible to the observer. However, cocaine isn’t safer to use than any other drug.
You Can Break the Cycle of Addiction
BlueCrest Recovery Center’s cocaine outpatient program features a holistic approach that addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of addiction. You can break the cycle, and our rehab for coke addiction can help; call (973) 298-5776.