Cocaine: Frequently Asked Questions

Cocaine Addiction

Is Cocaine Physically Addicting?

Most literature will deny that regular and uninterrupted use of cocaine causes physical addiction since the withdrawals from this level of use doesn't create a typical physical withdrawal response as seen in opiate or alcohol addiction, but if you examine the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, you will see that it is very difficult to separate true psychological withdrawal from physical symptoms.

We also know that cocaine is fat soluble and the body responds to cocaine in the blood stream by breaking cocaine down to its smallest molecular level and solubilizing it into the fat tissue of the body. The storage of cocaine in the fat tissue isn't a static condition, but instead, the cocaine within the fat tissue if often released back into the blood stream where it travels throughout the body causing a mild cocaine effect and usually causing cravings. This is an emotional response to a physical phenomenon and accounts for the predictable cravings seen in cocaine users after exercise or emotional upsets. The Narconon cocaine rehabilitation program owes some of its success to its New Life Detroxification Program that cleanses the cocaine from the fat tissue and can help remove these debilitating cravings.

How long is cocaine detectable after using the drug?

Most of cocaine is metabolized by the liver with very little unaltered cocaine being released through the urine. Urine drug tests measure the existence of cocaine in the body by detecting cocaine metabolites such as benzoyulecgonine (BE) and ecgonine methyl ester (EME), a less significant metabolite. The identification of these metabolites can be detected four hours after use and will continue to be detectable for eight to ten days.

What are the immediate or acute affects from cocaine?

Excessive use of cocaine will cause the users heart to beat faster with a significant rise in blood pressure. Users report that they also experience mild to intense itching, depending on how much cocaine has been used. Mentally a user will experience an excitement that leads intense nervousness and later to paranoid delusions.

Cocaine Rehab Program

What are the long-term effects from using cocaine?

Chronic cocaine use causes the brain to adapt to the extreme imbalances of neurotransmitter levels, which is responsible for the feelings of drifting out of consciousness that are commonly experienced by long-term cocaine use. Over-stimulating the brain with cocaine leaves the user exhausted with a depletion of neuro-hormones which translates into lethargy and depression after chronic use of this drug. A person recovering from chronic use of cocaine will also be emotionally liable and easily angered.

If cocaine is administered by "snorting" the powder, the drug can cause intranasal separation of the nasal cartilage which may need surgery to repair.

Smoking cocaine causes damage to lungs and respiratory system with the users reporting chronic chest pains that are many times confused with symptoms of heart problems.

Long term use of cocaine statistically doubles one's risk of having a stroke and increases one's likelihood for heart attacks.

How much cocaine is usually taken as a single dose?

Those who snort cocaine do so by spreading about 75 milligrans of cocaine on a hard surface. This is referred to as a "line" of cocaine. There are about 15 to 20 lines of cocaine in a gram.

You hear a lot about smoking crack. Is this a type of cocaine?

Crack is a combination of cocaine hydrochloride in a solution of backing soda and water that produces a hard and brittle rock-like pebble of cocaine rather than the powder form cocaine. Powder cocaine tends to burn or decompose rather than vaporize when it is heated under flame, making it ineffective as a drug that can be smoked. Crack cocaine is easily smoked because it vaporizes quickly and easily. These vapors are inhaled by the user and rapidly penetrate the lining of the lungs creating high concentrations of cocaine in the blood stream, which is then taken to the brain where the "rush" or immediate response from the cocaine creates a euphoric and stimulating feeling. This rush is very similar to the response one gets from smoking methamphetamines or crystal meth.

Can a person overdose on cocaine?

YES! Many people think that overdoses or limited to heroin and alcohol, but that isn't the case. Twenty milligrams, or about a half of a line of coke, when injected into one's veins can be a lethal dose. It takes much larger amounts of cocaine if administered by snorting the drug, with one-half to one and one-half grams being considered possibly lethal. Naturally, the purity of the cocaine and whether the cocaine is mixed with other drugs are important factors when trying to determine a lethal amount.

How many people in the United States use cocaine?

The statistics aren't current, but an estimate of 1.5 million is considered a safe number. This figure comes from data in 1997 when this 1.5 million people over the age of 12 reported that they were chronic cocaine users.

Is cocaine expensive?

Cocaine prices vary according to supply more than demand. There has always been a steady demand for cocaine since the 1980s, but prices will vary depending on how easily cocaine is being smuggled into the country. In major cities, cocaine can be purchased for about $100/gram. This price has been fairly stable for the past decade. Crack cocaine usually sells for $10 for a rock of cocaine.

Call a counselor for more information about the Narconon cocaine rehabilitation program today.

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