Cocaine and the public have had a long and complicated relationship. From its early marketing geared toward relieving tooth pain in children and inclusion in local anesthesia, to the eventual outcry over its side effects, the drug has had its ups and downs.
A long history like this can lead to misinformation, but fortunately the public is now fully informed on all of the problems cocaine can cause. However, you may be surprised by these 5 cocaine facts about its past, present and even future.
1. Crack Cocaine Was Developed Due to Popularity
The form of cocaine known as crack was developed because cocaine had become too popular. Its popularity rose in the 1980s and 1990s when celebrities and socialites could afford it from the drug lords. Because of this increased demand, chemists started making a cheaper product that was even more popular and addictive.
2. Cocaine Floods the Brain with Dopamine
The pleasure that comes from cocaine is due to the neurochemical reactions it produces in the brain. Cocaine blocks the reabsorption of dopamine – which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria. This results in a buildup of dopamine that then floods the brain giving the cocaine user a tremendous high.
This feeling has been compared to the same feelings as someone might experience during the first stages of love. It can be a very powerful feeling, which is why cocaine addiction is so prevalent in different parts of the country, especially in south and central Florida.
3. Anyone Can Become Addicted
Just like any other drug, cocaine doesn’t discriminate. One out of four Americans between the ages of 26 and 34 reportedly use cocaine at some point in their lives, and these people come from all walks of life. You can be wealthy, middle-class or living below the poverty level and become addicted to it in one of its different forms. Many people underestimate its effects and a first-time user can easily become addicted.
4. Some Little-Known Health Risks
There are many serious health risks to using cocaine. Many of them are well known, but there are a few you may not have heard of previously. Some of those surprising health risks include:
- Nose damage that may result in needing plastic surgery
- Weakened sense of smell, resulting in a condition called anosmia
- An increased risk of having a heart attack, especially within the first hour after use
- Sudden death, especially for those with a pre-existing heart condition
5. Cocaine Withdrawal Drugs on Horizon
One of the largest challenges those addicted to cocaine face is preventing relapse, which occurs in 40-60% of cases. Relapse is often a result of the severe physical and psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal. Luckily, there are promising medications in the works that could help people overcome addiction.
In fact, one such drug called exendin-4 that is already used to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes may help relieve cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Drugs to help with withdrawal can also ease the depression associated with withdrawal, and hopefully lessen suicide attempts that happen during this process.
Footprints Beachside Recovery Offers Cocaine Addiction Recovery
Cocaine addiction can affect every aspect of someone’s life. If you or a loved one is suffering, it’s important to get them the help they need at a treatment facility that focuses on the individual. Contact us today to get started on your recovery journey.