Cocaine, colloquially known as coke, is a highly addictive, fast-acting central nervous system stimulant. It is an illegal, unregulated drug that is used recreationally. Cocaine is made from the leaves of a plant that is native to South America, called the coca plant. In its purest form, it looks like a fine white powder, resembling flour or talcum powder. There are several ways in which people can ingest cocaine. A person can snort cocaine powder, rub cocaine powder onto his or her gums, or dissolve cocaine powder into water and inject it directly into his or her bloodstream. Individuals can also smoke cocaine after it has been processed into crack cocaine, which is the crystal form of cocaine. Crack cocaine is known to be the most potent form of cocaine available. Studies have indicated that on average, crack cocaine is between 75% to 100% pure, which makes it far more potent than regular cocaine.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies cocaine as a Schedule II Substance, which are “drugs, substances, or chemicals [that] are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” The way cocaine works in one’s body is by sending increased levels of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain cells) to areas of the brain that reign pleasure, and the excess buildup of dopamine elicits feelings of energy, alertness, and euphoria. An individual that abuses cocaine is in effect continuously interfering with his or her brain’s natural communication process. Repeated exposure to cocaine triggers alterations to neurons in the brain, causing the body to develop a tolerance, which leads the user to require more of the drug to achieve the same desired effects, crave the substance when it is not present in the body, and ultimately become dependent on the drug to function. An estimated 21% of people who try cocaine will become addicted at some point in their lifetime. According to the results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health nearly 5.5 million people used cocaine, including crack, and about a million of those people were addicted.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.