Cocaine forumulaWhat is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a synthetic drug that is highly addictive. This substance is one of a number of stimulants, the use of which causes severe intoxication and exhaustion of the entire body.

Addiction leads to poisoning, overdose, and eventually death. This means that even a passing interest in substance use must be curtailed.

The drug cocaine

The history of cocaine is very rich, as the first users were still Native Americans. They chewed the leaves of coca, a plant that contains narcotic substances. After a while, doctors became interested in the properties of this plant and derived cocaine hydrochloride, a substance used in medicine as a local anesthetic.

Practical experiments showed an interesting side effect of the substance: euphoria. After this discovery, interest in cocaine only increased.

Cocaine is a drug synthesized from the leaves of a plant containing alkaloids. The use of this narcotic substance causes the strongest psychotropic effect.

Composition of cocaine:

90% of the powder includes cocaine hydrochloride. The coca leaf releases toxic substances as an insecticide to ward off insects. The use of coca leaves has a toxic effect on the central nervous system, which results in a short-term feeling of euphoria, but the addiction develops very quickly and is impossible to overcome without the help of a professional addict.

Cocaine effects, basic properties

In examining the question of the benefits and harms of the psychoactive substance, scientists have come to interesting conclusions.

The euphoria after taking the drug is short-lived, while the powder itself destroys the body rapidly and in the long term. The first minutes after taking the powder a person is noted:

  • Euphoria, emotional lift
  • Significantly reduces sensitivity to pain
  • Lack of need for sleep and food
  • Liberated, outgoing, and energetic

After a while the euphoria after using the dose fades, the cocaine addict experiences tremendous agony. The emotional high comes to be replaced by depression, and suicide attempts are possible. Tremors, nausea, anxiety, headaches increase. One should not forget about the strongest withdrawal: the fact is that the drug causes severe physical and mental dependence, which forces you to use the next “track” over and over again.

The chemical formula of the drug is C17H22NO4Cl. Often the natural powder is mixed with synthetic substances, which only adds to the danger of using this drug.

Cocaine has a white, creamy or yellowish hue; it is a finely dispersed powder. It tastes numb on the tongue and shows its effects only after contact with mucous membranes. It has a pungent specific odor.

Cocaine “coming” is accompanied by such severe symptoms as auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations, feelings of panic, confusion. In some situations after a single cocaine use the addict finds himself in such severe states as psychosis, delirium or paranoid.

Ways to use cocaine

In order to achieve the desired effect of cocaine use, several methods are resorted to. Often these are intravenous injections, which are extremely dangerous, a single injection of which can be fatal.

A single dose of cocaine is not without consequences. You have to pay for a fleeting high with your health or even your life. The stimulant has a devastating effect on the liver, all organs and body systems.

The effects of drug

A person on cocaine feels all-powerful; increased aggression is often traced. An inability to adequately analyze the situation and one’s real capabilities leads to socially dangerous situations. An addict, being in a state of exhaustion, may get into a fight. This can result in beatings and even death.

Over time, the cocaine addict’s nose becomes less susceptible to smells and respiratory problems arise. The nasal mucosa becomes covered with numerous purulent erosions; the skin around the nose becomes red and inflamed.

Snorting cocaine is a punch right to the brain

There is a misconception that the use of stimulants allows for the discovery of new brain abilities. This “story” is a result of the romanticization of drug use, and works as an advertisement for drugs in certain circles. Real research by scientists has shown the opposite results: stimulant drugs destroy brain cells.

Once in the brain, the active substances disrupt the neurotransmitters. As a result, there is a serious disruption of neurons, in the worst case they begin to collapse. With the time of using the drug the addicted person develops tolerance, as a result of which the dosage of taken drug only increases.

In order to achieve at least some result the person has to experiment with the dosage of the narcotic substance: this leads to a coma. Even in case after coma an addict manages to save his life, the brain undergoes irreversible changes: the memory deteriorates, emotional reactions become inadequate, mental abilities are significantly reduced.

A lethal dose of cocaine

The lethality of the drug depends on the individual characteristics of the human body. Often 1 gram of cocaine is fatal. A smaller dosage has a systemic destructive effect.

Forms of cocaine distribution

Drug dealers offer the substance in several forms. It is important to note that some of the negative effects of cocaine use are associated with synthetic impurities: sometimes the powder is mixed with soda, flour, powdered sugar, laundry detergent, etc. to increase the batch. Just imagine the consequences of introducing such a mixture into the body.

“Green cocaine” in the leaves of the coke plant is consumed orally. This method of ingestion has a less pronounced clinical effect, but the addiction grows quite quickly. Some time ago, “Cocaine Drink”, an energy drink that lasts for about 18 hours, became popular. The use of even a small dose of this drink is strictly prohibited for people suffering from heart disease.

According to consumer reviews, the state of psychomotor excitement persists for a long time, but it differs significantly from liveliness: tremors, anxiety and insomnia occur.

Cocaine in powder

The final form of the drug is powder. The most common and dangerous type of drug. The unpredictability of the composition and the dose of the drug substance leads to rapid addiction and disruption of the nervous system.

Colombian Coke

Colombia is considered the birthplace of cocaine. It was here that Pablo Escobar gained world fame for the huge quantities of cocaine distributed in Europe and America. There are many films on the subject, but they rarely touch upon the consequences of drug distribution: the degradation of the population, the increase in crime and the frequency of drug addiction among the population. Colombian varieties are gradually being replaced by “pink cocaine” in the form of tablets or powder, which produces effects comparable to amphetamines and LSD. This psychoactive substance has even more terrifying effects than “pure” Colombian cocaine.

Pure cocaine

The white powder, which has a specific odor, is considered the purest variety.

Cocaine before and after
Faced with an endemic cocaine problem in the north west of the United States, the Multnomah Sheriff’s Office has also produced a heart-wrenching educational documentary to aid in its fight against young people turning to drugs. Credit: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office / Barcroft USA

People on cocaine

A person under coke cannot find a place for himself; wanting to release the accumulated energy, he often gets into fights. In such a state, it is not uncommon to have casual unprotected sex, which leads to venereal diseases and AIDS.

How long does cocaine stay in your system?

Modern tests can detect the presence of cocaine in the body even after a few days of staying completely sober. Approximately 95% of the substance is eliminated from the body two to four days after use, mostly by the kidneys.

Consequences from cocaine

A cocaine allergy is a severe condition. It involves overdosing or using a substandard mixture. In order to minimize the risk of severe consequences, you should stop taking the drug. Cocaine causes systemic damage to the cardiovascular system, digestive tract and brain.

Signs of cocaine use

You can tell a cocaine addict by the following signs:

  • Severe constriction of the pupils
  • Agitation, hand tremors
  • Red tinge of the skin around the nose
  • Rapid decrease in body weight
  • Scratches on the surface of the skin
  • Rapid, confused speech
  • Unreasonable aggression

After cessation of surfactant use, a person becomes apathetic, depressed, suffers from severe withdrawal symptoms: nausea, migraines, cramps, etc.

Harm to the body

The effects of cocaine on the body include:

  • Pathologies of the cardiovascular system: ischemia, arrhythmia, hypertension, tachycardia, coronary vasoconstriction, myocardial infarction, aortic wall dissection, hypertrophic cardiomyocardia and even sudden cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory and pulmonary disease
  • Ischemia and necrosis of gastrointestinal organs
  • CNS abnormalities: acute cerebral circulation, stroke, cerebrovascular hemorrhage.

The fleeting sensation of euphoria is not worth the risk of such severe pathologies. This means refraining from even a single use of cocaine.

Cocaine overdose

Mild overdose is accompanied by tremors of the hands, bruising of the skin, excessive sweating. Strong thirst, drying of mucous membranes, severe headache are noted. Heart and vascular disorders arise: hypertension, tachycardia, arrhythmia. There is a significant increase in the risk of stroke or heart attack. Severe overdose is accompanied by loss of consciousness and convulsions. Outwardly it looks like an epileptic syndrome. Sudden cardiac arrest is possible.

Cocaine poisoning

Poisoning with this drug is accompanied by symptoms typical of a serious overdose. In this case, it is necessary to see a narcology doctor for timely first aid.

Cocaine withdrawal

During withdrawal syndrome, all romanticization of drug use disappears. The person experiences tremendous physical and moral suffering.

During withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Exhaustion
  • Appetite disorders
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and severe diarrhea
  • Increased cravings for narcotic substances
  • Cramps, limb twitching, and severe tremors

The best method of getting a person out of withdrawal is comprehensive detoxification. The procedure is done at home or in a hospital setting. It is important to note that detoxification should only be performed by a qualified drug treatment provider.

Cocaine addiction

Cocaine addiction sets in quickly: in most cases already after the first dose a person wants to repeat the initial effect. It becomes more and more difficult to achieve, so the “paths” become longer and thicker: in the end, an overdose occurs.

Treatment of cocaine addiction Treatment of cocaine addiction must be comprehensive: only in this way can both the physical and mental basis of addiction be affected. The first stage of addiction treatment is detoxification. It includes application of water-salt solutions for toxins elimination; sorbents and special injections.

Quality therapy implies confinement in a hospital, so a narcologist may recommend going to a clinic when making a house call. The detoxification stage lasts from 3 days to 21 days. An intervention is conducted in the clinic setting to create motivation for recovery.

Medico-social rehabilitation is aimed at stabilizing physical health and working through the psychological basis of addiction. Intensive psychotherapy is aimed at getting rid of feelings of guilt, complexes and psychological cravings for drugs. The addict becomes aware of the consequences of drug addiction and learns to overcome impulses to use drugs. Social adaptation is aimed at practicing the skills learned in the rehabilitation center.

Thanks to the anonymity of applying to a private drug treatment center, there are no difficulties with further employment.

National Library of Medicine

Margo CollinsMargo Collins

M.D. Toxicologist, consultant Psychologist for social and psychological work with addicted clients and their families. Work experience of more than 20 years.