Cocaine is stimulant drug or “upper” that has a long history of use and addiction. Cocaine intoxication is characterized by elevated energy, feelings of euphoria and well being and an increased sex drive, while prolonged usage and higher dosages of cocaine can result in increased anxiety, agitation, paranoia, delusions and a decrease in sex drive. The drug is either snorted, injected or smoked in the form of “freebase” or crack cocaine.
Cocaine overdoses can be fatal by causing heart failure, respiratory failure, brain hemorrhaging or stroke. Approximately 5,000 deaths from cocaine overdoses occur every year. Severe psychological dependence develops from regular use and cocaine addiction can quickly take over someone’s life. Cocaine use is relatively widespread in the U.S. across nearly all socio-economic demographics.
In the 1980’s the development of crack cocaine moved the drug into impoverished communities and it became a virtual public enemy in the Reagan Era of the War on Drugs. The process of making crack from powder cocaine by combining it in a chemical process with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can create a higher yield of the drug, for example, an amount of 8 ounces of cocaine could be turned into 12 ounces of crack. This increase in quantity allowed dealers to sell the drug at a lower cost making it accessible to the poor. However, crack tends to be even more addictive than powder cocaine. Smoking the substance allows it to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain much faster. Crack cocaine gives its users an intense 5-10 minute high, followed by a deep crash, leaving them with a strong desire for more of the drug.
Like addiction to other substances, cocaine addiction can lead to rash, desperate criminal behavior like theft and prostitution. Vast amounts of money to be made in illegal cocaine trafficking and street level dealing is also commonly an instigating factor in gang violence resulting from disputes over dealing territory. In this way, not only is the substance itself illegal, criminal activity is inextricably linked to the drug.
Profound irritability, anxiety, insomnia and psychosis are all results of severe cocaine addiction and it can be one of the most crippling and demoralizing addictions out there. In the grips of such an addiction, freedom and recovery may seem hopeless, but there is hope. Inspire Recovery offers the support and the atmosphere that can make recovery from addiction possible. The addiction treatment process can be life-changing and it can be the beginning of a new, exciting and hopeful path, free from addiction and the start a better life in recovery. The journey can start today.