Cocaine abuse

Head | Psychiatry | Cocaine abuse (Disease)


Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is prepared from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 15–30 minutes to an hour, depending on the route of administration.

Causes and Risk factors

Cocaine accentuates feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality. Users who have pleasurable experiences report varying degrees of euphoria; increased energy, excitement, and sociability; less hunger and fatigue; a marked feeling of increased physical and mental strength; decreased sensation of pain; talkativeness, good humor, and laughing; dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, headache, or vertigo. With or even without increased amounts of coke, these can progress to excitement, flightiness, emotional instability, restlessness, irritability, apprehension, inability to sit still, cold sweats, tremors, twhiching of small muscles and muscle jerk.

Cocaine can be abused a number of different ways: sniffing, snorting, smoking or injecting. Cocaine addiction is marked by repeated use of the drug leading to dependence. For the user this means that more of the drug must be taken to feel the same cocaine effects once felt by a smaller dose. In addition to increased tolerance, psychological dependence on cocaine develops causing the user to become preoccupied, even obsessed with the drug and cocaine abusers will drop many activities and friends that do not include drug use.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Fortunately cocaine abuse treatment can be very effective if the patient wants to recovery from addiction.


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