Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge: What is Cocaine?

Cocaine Information from Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge

facts about cocaine from Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge  At Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge, our students come to us with addictions to a variety of substances, including drugs. With so many different types of drugs in existence, you may not have all of the information you need to know about the harmful effects of each drug. That’s why the Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge team has decided to create this blog series. Every blog will focus on a different popular drug, detailing the symptoms and side effects of continued use. In today’s Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge blog, we take a look at the effects of cocaine.

How Cocaine Works

Cocaine comes from the coca plant – a plant which originates in Central and South America. Originally, indigenous people would chew on the leaves of the coca plant to get an energetic high. Scientists first extracted cocaine from the plant in the 1850s and soon began introducing the substance into a variety of medicines. Soon the addictive properties of the drug were discovered, causing it to become illegal. Even with its illegal status, cocaine continues to be one of the most used drugs in the US. In 2014, there were over 1.5 million people who reported using the drug throughout the year.Cocaine, as we know it today, exists in two main forms: a fine white powder or a rock crystal otherwise known as crack. It can be snorted, injected, and smoked, while other users rub the powder into their gums. Cocaine is a stimulant, meaning it causes high levels of dopamine in the brain and creates intense feelings of alertness and euphoria. In order to continue that high, users have to continually use higher and higher amounts of the drug. Once the high ends, the user often has a strong craving for more and will need to use a higher dose to continue feeling that same level of euphoria. This increased usage is what causes addiction and increases the chance of overdose.

Side Effects of Cocaine Use

Since cocaine is a stimulant, one of the most common short-term side effects is intense feelings of happiness and euphoria. Unfortunately, with those feelings comes a slew of other negative side effects. Common side effects include paranoia, headaches, mood problems, extreme sensory sensitivity, and decreased appetite. Continued use can cause seizures, heart attacks, lung damage, intestinal damage, and more. Depending on how the drug is administered, continued cocaine use can also increase the risk of contracting diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. As mentioned before, continued cocaine use also runs the risk of overdose due to the need to use higher and higher amounts of the substance to continue the high.

Get Addiction Help with Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge

If your teenage son is struggling with an addiction to cocaine or another type of drug, Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge can help. Our holistic substance abuse treatment programs focus on five different areas of addiction and will equip your son with the tools he needs to overcome his addiction and have a healthy and sober life. For more information on our programs, check out the Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge website, submit an inquiry about our programs, or contact our office today.
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