Cocaine Effects to the Brain
Cocaine can be smoked, injected, and snorted. All three methods of using illicit drugs can cause fatal effects to the brain and the body. Cocaine is a stimulant. It affects the body’s production of dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that controls a person’s movement and pleasure.
Other Cocaine Effects
Short term illicit drugs effects include an increase in blood pressure, body temperature, and a person’s heart rate. In addition, someone high on illicit drugs will have constricted blood vessels and dilated pupils.
A illicit drugs user will often feel more mentally alert and not as tired as they would feel if they were not using illicit drugs. However, after repeated use of this drug, a person may experience seizures, irregular heart rhythms, and pain in the chest.
Fatal injuries from the use of illicit drugs include the following:
• Respiratory failure
• A heart attack
In addition to these fatal injuries and the other effects of cocaine, a person may often feel restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. In more serious cases a person will experience paranoid psychosis, auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, and muscle spasms.
The Combination of Alcohol and Cocaine
There is no doubt that cocaine is extremely addictive. However, the smoked version of cocaine, otherwise known as crack, is the most addictive drug on the illegal drug market. Crack and alcohol is often combined for a different kind of high. Unfortunately, the combination of crack cocaine and alcohol is the most frequent cause of death among cocaine users.
The Cocaine Crash
Around thirty minutes after using cocaine the high should go away. After the cocaine high goes away users will experience a crash. The crash often leaves the user with feelings of irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
Risks of Using Cocaine
There are many risks to using cocaine. However, the risks associated with cocaine depends on how the drug is taken For example, snorting cocaine can lead to injury to the membrane lining located in a person’s nostrils. This comes from repeated agitation from snorting cocaine. Cocaine users who snort the drug may also experience nosebleeds and a chronic runny nose. In addition, those who snort cocaine may experience difficulty swallowing after using the drug on a regular basis. Loss of smell is also common among those who snort cocaine.
Ingesting cocaine through the mouth can lead to gangrene in the small bowel. This is because the blood flow to the intestines is reduced.
Injections of cocaine can pose the highest risk of contracting HIV and Hepatitis among cocaine users. This is because those who use inject cocaine into the bloodstream often share needles with other cocaine users.