Cocaine is perhaps one of the most glamorized drugs in the United States. In movies, it is often the drug of choice for celebrities, and corner office stockbrokers, like in American Psycho. Maybe because of this glamor cocaine is the number two in the top drug-related deaths in Knoxville, TN. It ranks on the list above oxycodone, alcohol, and meth. With the country being focused on the opioid crisis, the havoc that cocaine on people’s lives and bodies is often overlooked. There is nothing inconsequential about cocaine and it is important to get help.
Why Is Cocaine So Deadly?
The contents of “retail” distribution drugs, or drugs distributed directly to the community, is very unreliable. The “purity” or strength of the drugs the dealers sell ranges from 10 to 85 percent for powdered cocaine and 10 to 95 percent for crack cocaine. This is very dangerous. If someone has a light tolerance for cocaine and they accidently get a batch of cocaine or crack that is purer than they normally use they might die.
It is also dangerous for people with a stronger tolerance. If they ingest powdered cocaine and/or crack and the drug does not start to create enough of a high soon enough they might take more. This extra potency might push them over the edge from a pleasurable experience to an overdose.
Another reason that cocaine is so deadly is that there is no Narcan or naloxone equivalent to help people if they overdose. Narcan can help reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose. However, not everyone will always be so lucky. The drug works by unleashing dopamine into the body and producing a rush of adrenaline. As a result, cocaine speeds up one’s heart rate, and if not careful, can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), which can lead to a heart attack, or worse death.
How Do People Use Cocaine?
Whether it is injected, rubbed on the gums, or more commonly inhaled through the nose, also known as snorting, cocaine produces an intense high. Cocaine works by stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain to produce dopamine and prevents the brain from recycling the dopamine it produced. This causes the dopamine to build up in the brain creating an intensely pleasurable experience. Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter that is released during pleasurable activities such as eating, sex, and falling in love to name a few.
How Many People Have Died from Cocaine Every Year in Knoxville, TN?
Drug deaths have been increasing by 20 percent annually well into 2018 in Tennessee and over 300 people died from a cocaine overdose in Tennessee in 2017. These are only the deaths that the authorities know about. There could be many more unreported deaths.
What Happens if I Take Cocaine Over a Long Period of Time?
Taking drugs over a while can cause the brain to rewire to make itself more resistant to the effects of the drug. This means that the person has to ingest the drug in greater and greater quantities than before to feel a high. If someone has to buy large quantities of anything over a long period of time it will often cause financial strain. Because of their addiction, many people who suffer from the disorder will do anything to support their habits, including stealing from their family and friends.
Does Cocaine Make You Feel Good?
Some pleasurable effects of cocaine are:
- Extreme happiness
- Increased energy
- Mental alertness
- Hypersensitivity to touch, sight, and sound
What Happens When You Use Cocaine?
Unfortunately, the downsides of cocaine use outweigh the rewards. Someone who is using cocaine might also feel irritable and paranoid. While this might seem like a questionable trade-off at best, not only can the user suffer, but so can their family members and friends. People who use cocaine often display:
- Bizarre behavior
- Violent actions
- Bowel decay if swallowed
- Trouble swallowing if snorted
- Lung damage
- Heart attack
- Sexual Problems
Does Cocaine Cause People to be Violent?
Cocaine, most notably when it is converted into crack cocaine, attracts violent crime. According to the Tennessee Department of Justice, crack related conflicts are responsible for homicides, assaults, and drive-by shootings in Tennessee.
Besides being dangerous to others, people with addiction will steal or commit violent acts to obtain money to buy drugs. Sometimes these acts are committed against close family members or family friends. It is important to remember that your loved one is acting under the influence of an addiction. They can get back to normal life with the help of an addiction recovery clinic and continued therapy.
How Do I Get Help for My Cocaine Addiction?
Addictions are uncontrollable by the person affected until they get help. Drug rehabilitation will help your loved one find ways to control their cravings until the cravings start to become more manageable and your loved one is no longer under such a strong compulsion to use drugs like cocaine.
What Are Some Signs of Cocaine Overdose?
There are some important cocaine overdose symptoms to know. These are:
- Extreme agitation
- Increased body temperature
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sudden mental health changes such as paranoia, depression, and psychosis
What Should I Do During a Cocaine Overdose?
It is very dangerous to drink while you have cocaine in your system. If you think that someone is going through a cocaine overdose or an overdose of any other drugs contact 9-1-1 and follow any instructions that they give you as far as caring for the person until emergency personnel arrives or you reach the hospital. Whatever you do:
- Regularly check the person’s heart rate
- If the individual’s heart stops beating perform CPR and then call 911
- Clear away objects that might cause injury
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Cocaine Overdose?
Overdoses are major physical and psychological events. They are so severe that they often cause death and many people who would otherwise not choose recovery go into recovery after experiencing an overdose. Here are some short-term problems that people who have overdosed experience:
- Suicidal thinking or behavior
- Persisting hallucinations and/or delusions
- Overall decreased mental clarity and capacity
What Should I Do if I Have a Cocaine Addiction?
While other people like health professionals can assess whether or not you have an addiction disorder, only you can change your life and start your road to recovery. Recovery clinics like Crest View are always available whenever you are ready to start your recovery journey. When you are ready to start a new chapter in your life, contact us at Crest View or call: (866) 350-5622.