Cocaine is a strong stimulant that comes in a powdered form (Coke) or in ‘rocks’ called freebase or crack. Freebase and crack cocaine can be smoked, and powder cocaine is usually snorted, though all types can be prepared for injecting.
Cocaine and your health
The initial ‘high’ felt after taking cocaine includes feelings of euphoria, increased energy, appetite suppression and a boost in self-esteem. The effects are however short lived and users continue taking the drug trying to recreate the initial high; cocaine is one of the most psychologically addictive drugs for this reason, and unfortunately the ‘comedown’ often becomes progressively worse. The unwanted side effects include feeling unwell, depressed, anxious, irritable and paranoid.
Snorting cocaine repeatedly can have a number of localised effects including:
- Nose bleeds
- Loss of sense of smell
- Problems swallowing
- Damage to nasal cartilage
- Perforation of the nasal septum (see image below)
It is possible to overdose on cocaine and die from the overstimulation of the heart and nervous system. Risks increase substantially when injecting the drug or mixing it with other drugs such as heroin or marijuana. More males die statistically from cocaine overdose, but poor outcomes can happen to anyone. Cocaine use is associated with poor heart and vascular function, increasing the risk of cardiovascular events such as:
- Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
- Cardiac arrest
- Kidney failure
- Respiratory arrest
- Sudden death
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
You don’t have to take cocaine every day to be addicted. A sign of addiction is trying to cut down or stop but being unable.
Frank is a confidential drug advisory in the UK that provide good information, click here to read more.
There are effective treatment plans for cocaine addiction; seeing your GP is advisable, they will provide confidential advice and referrals for further treatment.
You can also contact Narcotics Anonymous.
For more information regarding drug rehabilitation services in Gibraltar click here.