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CocaineFactSheet.com is brought to you by AllNetHealth.com and is intended to provide basic information that you can use to make informed decisions about important health issues affecting you or your loved ones. We hope that you’ll find this information about Cocaine helpful and that you’ll seek professional medical advice to address any specific symptoms you might have related to this matter.

In addition to this site, we have created the "Healthpedia Network" of sites to provide specific information on a wide variety of health topics.

 

 

 

 

What is cocaine?

What are common street terms used for cocaine?

What is crack?

What is freebase?

What are the short-term effects of cocaine use?

What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?

What treatments are effective for cocaine addiction?

Where can I buy a home test kit for cocaine?

Where can I find a substance abuse facility for cocaine?

 

What is cocaine? (top)

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. Cocaine was labeled the drug of the 1980s and ‘90s, because of its extensive popularity and use during this period. However, cocaine is not a new drug. In fact, it is one of the oldest known drugs. The pure chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, has been an abused substance for more than 100 years, and coca leaves, the source of cocaine, have been ingested for thousands of years.

 

What are common street terms used for cocaine? (top)

Coke, snow, flake, blow, powder

 

What is crack? (top)

Crack is the street name given to a freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride.

Because crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in less than 10 seconds. This rather immediate and euphoric effect is one of the reasons that crack became enormously popular in the mid 1980s. Another reason is that crack is inexpensive both to produce and to buy.

 

What is freebase? (top)

There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt and the “freebase.” The hydrochloride salt, or powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and, when abused, can be taken intravenously (by vein) or intranasally (in the nose). Freebase refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is smokable.

 

What are the short-term effects of cocaine use? (top)

Cocaine’s effects appear almost immediately after a single dose, and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Taken in small amounts (up to 100 mg), cocaine produces some or all of the below;

  • Increased energy

  • Decreased appetite

  • Mental alertness

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

  • Constricted blood vessels

  • Increased temperature

  • Dilated pupils

What are the long-term effects of cocaine use? (top)

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. Thus, an individual may have difficulty predicting or controlling the extent to which he or she will continue to want or use the drug. Cocaine’s stimulant and addictive effects are thought to be primarily a result of its ability to inhibit the re-absorption of dopamine by nerve cells. Dopamine is released as part of the brain’s reward system, and is either directly or indirectly involved in the addictive properties of every major drug of abuse.  Common long-terms effects of cocaine include;

  • Addiction

  • Irritability and mood disturbances

  • Restlessness

  • Paranoia

  • Auditory hallucinations

What treatments are effective for cocaine addiction? (top)

Cocaine abuse and addiction is a complex problem involving biological changes in the brain as well as a myriad of social, familial, and environmental factors. Therefore, treatment of cocaine addiction is complex, and must address a variety of problems. Like any good treatment plan, cocaine treatment strategies need to assess 3 main aspects of the patient’s drug abuse;

Behavioral therapy

Many behavioral treatments have been found to be effective for cocaine addiction, including both residential and outpatient approaches. Indeed, behavioral therapies are often the only available, effective treatment approaches to many drug problems, including cocaine addiction, for which there is, as yet, no viable medication. It is important that patients receive services that match all of their treatment needs. For example, if a patient is un-employed, it may be helpful to provide vocational rehabilitation or career counseling. Similarly, if a patient has marital problems, it may be important to offer couples counseling. A behavioral therapy component that is showing positive results in many cocaine-addicted populations is contingency management. Contingency management may be particularly useful for helping patients achieve initial abstinence from cocaine. Some contingency management programs use a voucher-based system to give positive rewards for staying in treatment and remaining cocaine free. Based on drug-free urine tests, the patients earn points, which can be exchanged for items that encourage healthy living, such as joining a gym, or going to a movie and dinner.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or “Relapse Prevention,” is another approach. Cognitive-behavioral treatment, for example, is a focused approach to helping cocaine-addicted individuals abstain—and remain abstinent—from cocaine and other substances. The underlying assumption is that learning processes play an important role in the development and continuation of cocaine abuse and dependence. The same learning processes can be employed to help individuals reduce drug use and successfully cope with relapse. This approach attempts to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope; i.e., recognize the situations in which they are most likely to use cocaine, avoid these situations when appropriate, and cope more effectively with a range of problems and problematic behaviors associated with drug abuse. This therapy is also noteworthy because of its compatibility with a range of other treatments patients may receive, such as pharmacotherapy.

Therapeutic communities (TCs)

Therapeutic communities (TCs), or residential programs with planned lengths of stay of 6 to 12 months, offer another alternative to those in need of treatment for cocaine addiction. TCs focus on re-socialization of the individual to society, and can include on-site vocational rehabilitation and other supportive services. Of course, there is variation in the types of therapeutic processes offered in TCs.

 

Click here to buy home test kits for cocaine

 

Where can I find a substance abuse facility for cocaine? (top)

Click here for a National Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

 

 

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