THE RISKS OF COCAINE USE
Sherlock Holmes injected it as a 7% solution. Coca-Cola originally contained 9 milligrams per bottle. Casey Jones got high on it and drove a train. It seems that cocaine has been with us since the beginning of time, or at least as far back as anyone reading this can remember. Native to South America the leaves of the cocoa scrub bush are processed into a powder. Once in this powder form science is applied and the end result is a recreational drug that is highly addictive to users. Cocaine interferes with the dopamine receptors in your brain causing a flood of fuzzy, feel-good feelings that are incapable of stopping. At least, until the drug wears off. It is the third most addictive substance in the world and is extremely harmful to the human body after prolonged use.
- STROKE/HEART ATTACK
Cocaine causes its users to suffer from hardened arteries, higher blood pressure, and thicker heart muscle walls when compared to those who have never used the drug. People who use cocaine on a regular basis are 35% more likely to suffer from a hardened aorta, which is the main artery in the body. It supplies oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. This hardening slowly blocks the aorta and puts blood flow at risk, leading to a heart attack.
Cocaine use begets more cocaine use. Biblically put, that is the nature of the beast. Especially with chronic users who require more cocaine more often in order to maintain their proper level of high. This puts cocaine users at an extremely high risk for an overdose and, unlike heroin addicts and their beloved Narcan, there is no medical fix for this. Seizures, heart failure, respiratory failure, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke, and death are all possible side effects of a cocaine overdose. Each year more than 5,000 people die from an overdose of cocaine.
The feel-good high of cocaine has been labeled as intensely addictive. The third most addictive, in fact, coming in just behind heroin and alcohol. Once they are high many cocaine users feel able to take on anything. They have no worries, feel no emotional pain or worry, and become extremely focused and productive. After prolonged use, however, these effects wear off and the user is left doing consistently larger amounts of cocaine more frequently in an attempt to just feel normal. Along with the addiction comes the financial, physical, and emotional toll that cocaine will take on your life.
- LOSS OF GREY MATTER
As Hercule Poirot would lament, “Ah! The little grey cells.” And indeed there are long-term changes that can occur within the brain when exposed to long-term cocaine use, such as turning your brain cells into little cannibals. If this sounds bad, it’s because it is. The brain goes through a normal process called autophagy. During this process the brain disassembles and recycles unnecessary parts of dysfunctional cells, making room for new, healthy ones. Cocaine use puts this brain process into hyperdrive, causing your neurons to rapidly devour themselves thereby destroying important parts of cells including the mitochondria. No thanks.
The bottom line here is that cocaine is really, really, really, bad for you. Really. If cocaine use and dependence are taking their toll on your life, your relationships, and your wallet then we here at Asana Recovery urge you to reach out to us. Please give us a call or visit our website to chat with a live person. We offer safe, professional, medically guided detox and residential treatment programs in a caring and judgment-free environment. Don’t wait until a bad problem gets worse. Get ahead of your addiction now.