Many of the most popular mind-altering substances fall into one of two categories: depressant or stimulant. Depressant drugs are ones that depress, or slow, the central nervous system as well as most other bodily systems and functions. Some of the most widely abused depressants include alcohol, benzodiazepines, and heroin. However, on the other end of the spectrum there are stimulants, which have the opposite effect as depressants. In short, stimulants energize the body, making the central nervous system function faster and causing such physiological effects as increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased respiration, and difficulty sleeping. Among the many drugs that are classified as stimulants, cocaine is undoubtedly one of the most popular.
Cocaine is a drug that’s consumed in a couple different ways. As it’s most often found in its crystalline powder form, cocaine is most commonly imbibed via insufflation, which is to say that it’s “snorted,” or inhaled through the sinuses. Alternately, cocaine can be made into a liquid solution for intravenous injection or inhaled via smoking in its freebase form (known colloquially as crack cocaine). Whatever the route of administration might be, a person who consumes cocaine experiences a major boost of energy. Further, cocaine use is known to cause a loss of appetite, insomnia, paranoia, restlessness, sweating, mood swings, aggression, and dilated (enlarged) pupils. From the perspective of a casual observer, cocaine use is most readily indicated by the sweating, increase in energy, rapid speech, and enlarged pupils.
Like other substances, the frequent use of cocaine over an extended period of time is known to cause addiction. Although cocaine addiction has historically been controversial, most experts agree that cocaine is, in fact, an addictive substance, largely evidenced by the fact that individuals who have used cocaine habitually exhibit certain characteristics when they’ve stopped using or been unable to use cocaine for a while. These effects are withdrawal symptoms and generally include physical discomfort, depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate or focus, lack of energy and motivation, and a number of flu-like symptoms. Fortunately, anyone who has become physiologically dependent on cocaine can overcome his or her addiction via high-quality treatment, including our IOP for cocaine addiction in Delray Beach.