Cocaine | Lorijen Hospital

Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the oldest known substances that affect the central nervous system (CNS) and is highly addictive. Pure cocaine was first produced from leaves of a Erythoroxylon Coca shrub that grows in countries of South America – Peru and Bolivia.

Routes of administration

Cocaine can be administered in various ways. Most common ways of administration are orally, by injection, insufflation or inhalation.

Each of the routes allows absorption of toxic amounts of cocaine that can lead to acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, which may result in death.

Tolerance for the drug is developed by continual use.

Tolerance is considered the amount of the substance needed to achieve the desired effect. Increasing one’s tolerance means that larger doses and more frequent ingestion of the drug are needed to produce the same effects as when ingested for the first time.
Recent researches have shown that even in cases of prolonged abstinence, memories of the euphoria caused by cocaine or circumstances connected with previous cocaine use (friends, clubs, particular music) could cause craving for the drug, even relapse.

Cocaine is usually sold on the street in form of a fine white powder or crystalized powder by the names of coke, white, snow, blow… Street dealers cut cocaine with starch, baking soda, sugar and other substances like procaine (a local anesthetic) or stimulants like amphetamines.

Cocaine comes in two forms: hydrochloride and freebase. Hydrochloride or powder cocaine is soluble in water and is usually administered by insufflation or injection. Crack is the street name for the cocaine freebase. It got its name, crack, because of the characteristic crackling sound produced when the drug is smoked. The effects of crack are felt after less than 10 seconds. Immediate and extremely intense onset of effects and low street price led to its popularity in the mid-eighties.

Sometimes cocaine is mixed with heroine, the mixture known as speedball.

Effects

It is believed that the effects of cocaine are the result of its ability to disrupt reuptake of dopamine in nervous cells.

Effects begin almost immediately after use and last for couple of minutes or hours.

After trying cocaine for the first time, user won’t be able to predict or control future use of the drug.

Ingested in small quantities, cocaine causes feelings of euphoria, energy, chattiness, change of perception. Some users consider that cocaine helps them execute simple and intellectual tasks, while others experience the opposite effects.

In extreme cases, cocaine use can cause sudden death even after the first use. Death caused by cocaine is often a result of a heart failure or a seizure that causes a respiratory system failure.

Instant effects:

increased energy
reduced appetite
mental alertness
increased heart rate
blood vessel constriction
increased body temperature
dilated pupils

What happens in case of continued cocaine use?

With excessive and prolonged use, the drug can cause irritability, anxiety and paranoia that could lead to development of paranoid schizophrenia, manifested through loss of one’s contact with reality and auditory hallucinations.

Prolonged use leads to:

addiction
irritability and mood swings
restlessness
paranoia
auditory hallucinations

Long-term effects

Long-term use of cocaine leads to medical problems. Most typical long-term effects affect the:

cardiovascular system   arrhythmia and heart attack
respiratory problems chest pain, respiratory system failure
neurological problems stroke and headaches
stomach problems stomach pain, nausea

Different ways of administering the drug cause different side effects.

Insufflation (snorting, sniffing) can cause loss of sense of smell, nose bleeds, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness of the throat, irritability of nasal mucous membranes leading to chronic inflammation and runny nose.

Injecting cocaine can lead to allergic reactions to the drug itself or additives in it. This way of administration poses a risk of contracting Hepatitis or HIV due to sharing of paraphernalia.

Cocaine reduces the need for food and therefore many users loose their appetite that leads to weight loss and physical deterioration.

Often is cocaine combined with alcohol, which significantly increases the toxic effects it has on the body.

Combining cocaine with alcohol creates a compound called cocaethylene. Effects of this compound last longer and are more adverse to the body. Ultimately the combination of these substances can result in death.
Women that use cocaine during pregnancy risk premature labor and their newborns being underweight, with a smaller heads and shorter than other babies.

Treating cocaine addiction

Cocaine and other stimulants’ addicts are subjected to detoxification as the first step of their treatment.

Cocaine addiction and abuse are a complex problem and treating them requires psychobiological, social and pharmacological approach. To permanently solve the problem of addiction, it is necessary for the patient to change his current lifestyle and proceed with his treatment through Phase II  (find out more about SMART RECOVERY program).

For more information on the treatment and making the first appointment please

contact us or call: +(381) 11 30 88 090   i   +(381) 69 30 88 090

What do we treat?

ikonica-heroin
ikonica-kokain
ikonica-marihuana
ikonica-alkoholizam
ikonica-kockanje
ikonica-lekovi
ikonica-sex
ikonica-internet

Application of wide variety of methods allows us to create personalized treatment plans and achieve long-term recovery.

How do we do it?

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Services prefered by patients

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SMART RECOVERY Program


We apply an holistic approach to treating addiction, meaning that we guide the patient through all stages of the treatment, in a single facility.

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I phaseDETOX


This is the first step in the course of treatment - treating physical dependence

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Methods of detoxification


Detoification in clinical conditions includes several different treatment programs and protocols for all types of addcition

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II phaseLIFESTYLE CHANGES


Lifestyle changes program is based on adoption of healthy habits and methods of withdrawal prevention. The program provides patients with psychological support...

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