Cocaine Abuse and Addiction in Orlando
Cocaine has been a popular party drug in the United States and in other countries for decades. While cocaine is illegal, the stimulant continues to be highly abused and extremely addictive. Cocaine addiction is a widespread disease and often leads to overdose deaths and heart attacks.
Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine is a white crystal-like powder but can be mixed with amphetamines to take a different appearance and cause more extreme effects than the drug has on its own. Cocaine reacts with the body’s central nervous system to produce energy and euphoria.
Although it is well known that cocaine is addictive, many people choose to experiment with cocaine.
How Addictive is Cocaine?
Cocaine is addictive because the drug abnormally increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which can reprogram the brain’s reward system. When people become addicted to a drug, there are often psychological symptoms that they show and physical symptoms. The psychological addiction is the link between the brain and the pleasant experience that occurs from the drug’s effects. The physical addiction is the body’s desire for the drug to function normally.
Physical symptoms include:
- Decreased need for sleep
- Muscle twitches
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Constriction of blood vessels
- Runny nose
- Increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
- Decreased appetite
Psychological symptoms include:
- Intense paranoia
- Violent mood swings
- Break from reality
- Unable to exert good judgment
- Rationalization of drug use
- Lack of motivation
Someone who uses cocaine frequently will develop a dependence for the drug, meaning they feel a need for it to function properly and avoid feeling physically ill. Once a dependence has formed, withdrawal symptoms will occur when cocaine use stops or the dosage decreases significantly.