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Understanding Cocaine Use, Duration, and Side Effects
Cocaine can be consumed in various ways: snorted, rubbed on the gums, injected into the bloodstream, or smoked. The method of consumption significantly affects how quickly the body absorbs cocaine and how long the resulting high lasts.
Additionally, when cocaine mixes with other substances, its effects may vary. This practice is quite common among users.
If you or someone you care about is curious about the effects of cocaine on the body, here’s what you should know.
Looking to quit cocaine? Zinnia Healing can assist you. Discover more about our personalized and confidential treatment approach by contacting our team today. We’re available 24/7. Dial (855) 430-9439.
How Long Do the Effects of Cocaine Last?
Snorting is the most prevalent method of cocaine use. However, people also apply it to their gums, mix it with water and inject it, or smoke it as crack cocaine. The way cocaine is consumed affects how quickly it enters the bloodstream, determining the onset and duration of the high.
Here’s what you can expect:
- When snorted or applied to the gums, cocaine’s effects typically kick in within 1-3 minutes and last for about 15-30 minutes.
- When smoked or injected, the effects usually begin within 10-15 seconds and last for about 5-15 minutes.
After repeated usage, individuals often develop a tolerance to cocaine, meaning they no longer experience the same intense high despite using the same amount. This can lead to increased consumption and the heightened risk of a cocaine overdose. Moreover, mixing cocaine with other substances can further amplify its effects, particularly when combined with heroin (speedballing). It’s important to note that long-term usage of cocaine, as well as other substances, can result in dangerous side effects.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding treatment, feel free to reach out to our team at Zinnia Healing. Call us at (855) 430-9439 for more information.
What does a Cocaine High Feel Like?
Cocaine is a potent stimulant that provides users with a surge of energy and a sense of euphoria. When someone uses cocaine, it activates various receptors in the brain, which triggers the release of dopamine—commonly known as the “happy hormone.”
While dopamine occurs naturally in the body, drugs like cocaine cause a rapid and excessive release of this neurotransmitter, contributing to the pleasurable sensations experienced during a cocaine high.
Dopamine is a reward signal in the brain, typically linked to behaviors that enhance survival, such as eating. Consequently, our brains are conditioned to seek out activities that result in increased dopamine levels, forming the foundation of addiction.
In addition to a general sense of well-being, cocaine usage can lead to temporary effects such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated body temperature
- Enhanced confidence
- More outgoing and talkative behavior
Although these side effects may seem positive, they are short-lived rewards. Prolonged cocaine use can lead to psychological dependence, intense cravings, personality changes, and adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, among other risks.
Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use
After using cocaine a few times, the brain undergoes alterations that make the reward center less sensitive to natural reinforcers. This means activities that usually trigger a dopamine response, such as eating or spending time with loved ones, no longer provide the same level of pleasure.
Simultaneously, the circuits involved in the stress response become more sensitive. These changes in brain chemistry can result in worsened mood, decreased motivation, and an increased desire to use cocaine to regain a sense of well-being.
Psychological effects such as these can significantly alter a person’s behavior, leading to the deterioration of personal and professional relationships in a short amount of time.
The physical effects of cocaine abuse can be even more severe, although they may not be immediately apparent. Some long-term consequences include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Paranoia and psychosis
- Chest pain resembling a heart attack
- Increased risk of stroke and seizures
- Brain hemorrhage
While mood changes may manifest early on, it often takes a significant amount of time for family members to recognize the signs of cocaine use. They may want to give their loved ones the benefit of the doubt.
Considering the dangerous and potentially irreversible risks associated with cocaine usage, it is crucial to address cocaine addiction as soon as possible. Fortunately, numerous treatment options exist.
Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction
To recover from a stimulant drug like cocaine, the body must undergo a process called detoxification or detox. During this period, the brain must adapt to no longer having the stimulant in its system, which requires a re-adaptation of its structure and function.
Detoxing from chronic cocaine use can take weeks or even months, but no one has to face it alone.
Substance use disorders are now better understood, and many treatment programs prioritize a person’s physical and mental well-being throughout their recovery journey.
For instance, individuals experiencing cocaine withdrawal may encounter heart rhythm changes, high blood pressure, anxiety, anger, and paranoia. Addiction recovery specialists can help individuals minimize and manage these symptoms through therapy sessions and other techniques.
If you have pre-existing health conditions, especially anxiety disorder or a heart condition, seeking addiction treatment under the guidance of professionals is essential.
When seeking medical advice for recovery, your healthcare provider will ensure utmost confidentiality and care throughout your journey. All you have to do is take the first step.
Struggling with Cocaine Abuse? Seek Help Today
If you’re trying to recover from cocaine abuse, know that hospitalization and inpatient treatment are not your only options.
At Zinnia Healing, we understand that no single approach works for everyone, which is why we offer personalized programs, outpatient treatment, and various support groups. We strive to ensure you feel heard and understood.
Are you ready to take the next step toward recovery? Zinnia Healing is here to assist you. You can reach us anytime, day or night, at (855) 430-9439. We’re ready to support you on your healing journey.
- Cocaine Abuse Treatments
- Freebasing Cocaine: Why and How People Engage in This Practice
- How to Get Cocaine Out of Your System – Various Methods for Cleansing Your Body