What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerful illegal stimulant drug often abused in powder, or rock form. Some common slang names used for powder cocaine are Coke, Blow, Dust, Line, Rail, Snow, Powder, Big C, Stash, and pearl. Similarly, rock cocaine has several slang names as well such as ball, rocks, hail, dice, and sleet. People use cocaine in various ways. It can be absorbed through the gums, snorted, injected, smoked in rock form, and even swallowed. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “ There are an estimated 1.5 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older (0.6 percent of the population)”. Cocaine is a widely used drug throughout the United States and is used by a diverse group of people varying in age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Cocaine has also been responsible for a large number of overdoses throughout the United States. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that “Data from Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report showed that cocaine was involved in 505,224 of the nearly 1.3 million visits to emergency departments for drug misuse or abuse.” Thus equating to almost 50% of the drug use reported by emergency departments. The reported evidence suggests that not only the prevalence of use within the population as being a problem but also the dangerousness of the product being sold on the streets.
Cocaine Use: The Short-Term and Long-Term Effects
Being under the influence of cocaine may initially feel energizing and euphoric to the user, but quickly becomes addicting with many negative side effects. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports, “Short term side effects include irritability, paranoia, constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, nausea, raised body temperature, tremors, muscle spasms, and restlessness. Cocaine intoxication leads to a multitude of mental and physical effects. Furthermore, cocaine intoxication can lead to overdose anytime a person decides to consume it. Depending on the method of cocaine use, several long term effects have been reported. The National Institute of Drug Abuse Reports, reports that “ Snorting can lead to loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing. Consuming by mouth may result in severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow. Lastly, that users who administer with needs are at: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases” Therefore, regardless of the method of use the long term implications to your body are detrimental and should be avoided by all costs.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that are used and abused both illegally and through prescription medications. Drugs that are considered opioids include Heroin, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Codeine, and many others. The drugs similar to cocaine can be used in many different ways. Common forms are snorting, smoking, swallowing and injecting. Likewise, there are various street names for different opioids; They include Heroin (Smack, Junk, Dope, China white), Fentanyl (Apache TNT, China White, China Girl, Tango) Oxycodone ( Oxy, Hillbilly Heroin), Morphine (Roxanol, Miss Emma), and others. Opioids are a dangerous class of substance which have resulted in numerous overdoses and deaths throughout the United States. According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse, “In 2016 there were 64,000 drug overdose deaths because of Fentanyl, and Fentanyl Analogs” This is a drastic increase from previous years, and continues to be on the rise. Also, the report is specific to Fentanyl which is only one type of drug that belongs to the class of opioids. Many other overdoses are reported annually because of heroin, and other opioid-related drugs.
Opioid Use: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects
While the initial feeling of opioids may lead to a relaxed content state, there are many short-term and long-term effects of using opioids. Some short-term effects include drowsiness, slow breathing, constipation, unconsciousness, nausea, and coma. When continuing to use the substance the abuser builds up a tolerance, and physical addiction. Thus, resulting in feelings of withdrawal. Drugfreeworld.org states that, “These include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”)” Because tolerance occurs after repeated drug use, the user will require more and more of the substance to avoid the negative effects associated with withdrawal.
Unfortunately, many drug users mix a combination of drugs leading to higher overdose and death rates. A popular combination is cocaine, and opioids which are called “ Speed Balling”. Both cocaine and either heroin or a different opioid is mixed and then injected intravenously to achieve a high associated with feelings of a happy euphoric state from the cocaine and a calm relaxing state from the opioid. The process is both highly addicting, and dangerous. Because Cocaine and Opioids sit at opposite ends of the spectrum of altered mental states, they are in some ways counter active which can lead the user to feel less of an effect from each. Thus, lacking awareness over one’s own intoxication leads to greater chances of over-consumption and even overdose.
Get Help Today
It is imperative if you or a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse addiction to get help today. There are a variety of treatment options available.